x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Diba is dreaming of happy days at Nasr

Anouar Diba, one of Al Nasr's most celebrated signings this pre-season, has vowed to do his best to make his fans the "happiest in the country" by ending their long wait for a trophy.

Diba trains at Nasr's Al Maktoom Stadium in Dubai.
Diba trains at Nasr's Al Maktoom Stadium in Dubai.

DUBAI // Anouar Diba, one of Al Nasr's most celebrated signings this pre-season, has vowed to do his best to make his fans the "happiest in the country" by ending their long wait for a trophy. The Dutch-Moroccan midfielder, who arrived at the Al Maktoum Stadium from Qatar's Al Wakra, is one of the 12 new players brought in by Nasr in their quest for a first league title since 1986.

The Ecuador international Carlos Tenorio, Iranian playmaker Iman Mobali, who moved over from Dubai rivals Al Wasl, Diba and his "good friend" Ali Boussaboun are the four new foreign recruits for Nasr, whose last trophy was the President's Cup in 1989. Nasr have also strengthened their squad with domestic signings, bringing in the goalkeeper Ismael Rabea from Al Shabab and strikers like Mohammed Mallallah, from Al Khaleej, and Salem Saad, from Shabab.

Diba is hoping these changes will pay dividends by the end of the season. "We want to end this drought," said Diba, 26, who played five seasons in the Dutch Eredivisie with NAC Breda before moving to Wakra in 2007, where he was a big hit. "We will do our best and God willing we will finish the season with a trophy. "The club have been really great with us and I hope we can give them something back in the field.

"We will play good, exciting football for the fans to enjoy and make them happiest in the country." Diba rates the club's foreign recruits highly, having played against Tenorio, 30, in the Qatar league, where the Ecuadorian played for five seasons, scoring more than 120 goals, including an astonishing 10 in a single game. Boussaboun, who is also a Dutch-Moroccan, has been Diba's teammate at both NAC and Wakra.

Ironically, Diba made his professional debut at NAC in 2003 as an 85th-minute substitute for Boussaboun. However, Diba's optimism stems not just from the quality of the foreign professionals, but also the local talent present at the club. "We have a good team," said the Morrocan international. "I saw videos of the matches from last year and I think we have a lot of good players. "I hope we can combine to make a good, strong side. There is no difference between the local and foreign players.

"We must be one team. Ali is a very good friend, but on the field that's not important. On the field, the important thing is to understand each other. "I know we have very good players and I know we are a very good team. "So I am hoping we can give the fans what they want." arizvi@thenational.ae