x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Fernandinho signed to join friend and compatriot up front at Al Jazira

Brazilian signing will wear No 12 and Ricardo Oliveira will take over the No 9 shirt from the outgoing Bare.

Fernandinho has joined Al Jazira from Sao Paulo.
Fernandinho has joined Al Jazira from Sao Paulo.

ABU DHABI // Al Jazira's new Brazilian signing Fernandinho has revealed that compatriot Ricardo Oliveira played a big part in his move to the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium.

Fernandinho took part in his first practice session on Wednesday night after being officially unveiled as a Jazira player.

"It is only his second training session with us but he already plays as if he has been with the team for the whole season. If you have seen him tonight then you have the answers," said Ibrahim Diaky, the captain and midfielder.

Fernandinho will spearhead the Jazira attack alongside Oliveira. The two players know each other from time spent together at Sao Paulo in 2010, when Oliveira played half a season on loan at the Brazilian club from Jazira.

Fernandinho, 26, got in touch with Oliveira to find out about the club before agreeing to move to the Pro League on a three-year contract, for a fee of just under Dh20 million.

"Ricardo has been my main contact person during the negotiations," Fernandinho said. "I have known him from back in Brazil and when he played for Sao Paulo. I am very excited to play alongside him."

Fernandinho replaces compatriot Bare, who was released with one year left on his three-year contract.

Thought Bare scored 33 goals in 60 games in two campaigns at Jazira, a decision was made by the club to replace him, following their fourth-placed finish in the Pro League last season.

"After the technical staff made their evaluation, it was decided we find a new forward to play alongside Ricardo and we have found Fernandinho as the best attacking prospect," Ayedh Mabkhout, the Jazira team manager, said.

"Fernandinho has the speed and quality. He is young, strong and quick, and possesses high technical skills. He is also a friend of Ricardo and with these two we are looking forward for a great forward combination for the new season."

Fernandinho will wear the No 12 shirt as he teams up with Oliveira, who takes over the No 9 shirt worn by Bare (he previously wore 99).

Matias Delgado, the Argentine midfielder who was given a three-year extension in January, is the club's third foreigner.

Jazira are yet to finalise a replacement for their Asian player Lucas Neill, the Australian defender, who left at the end of last season.

apassela@thenational.ae

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