Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 4 July 2020

Christian Trasch says Al Wasl teammate Fabio De Lima 'has the talent to play in Europe'

Fabio De Lima, right, has scored more than 100 goals during his six-year stint at Al Wasl. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Fabio De Lima, right, has scored more than 100 goals during his six-year stint at Al Wasl. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Al Wasl forward Fabio De Lima possesses the talent to play in one of Europe’s major leagues, says teammate Christian Trasch.

The Brazil-born attacking midfielder, who earlier this year was granted UAE citizenship, has been one of the Arabian Gulf League’s standout performers since arriving in the Emirates in 2014.

Now in his sixth season at Wasl, De Lima has scored 105 goals in 135 top-flight appearances. He was named the league’s foreign player of the season in 2016/17 as Wasl finished second – the Dubai club's best performance in a decade.

De Lima, 26, was this weekend said to have been the subject of a bid from league counterparts Al Ain, although Wasl are understood to have rejected the offer. The former Vasco da Gama playmaker’s contract runs until 2022.

Trasch, who spent the majority of his career in the German Bundesliga, can no doubt understand his employers' stance having been impressed with De Lima since joining Wasl four months ago.

Asked if he believed his teammate would thrive in Europe, Trasch said: “Yes, for sure. He has the talent to play in Europe, but I think he feels very, very well here in Dubai and in the Emirates.

“He got the passport from the Emirates so he feels really comfortable here. I don’t know what he thinks about it, but I believe he wants to stay. But, yes, he’s one of the players in the league who can play in Europe.”

Trasch, 32, credits De Lima for helping smooth the transition from Germany to Dubai. “Fabio is a good friend of mine; we understand each other very well. He lives next to me, so we do a lot together.

“He’s a nice guy and a really good player, really dangerous in front of goal; his technique is really good. For sure, he’s one of the best players in the league.”

Trasch signed for Wasl on a deal through until the end of the season, but with the league stopping on March 15 because of the coronavirus, he has made only one appearance.

The midfielder says he has been impressed by the overall standard of football in the UAE and that he, his wife and his two young children are enjoying life in Dubai. Subsequently, he would like to extend his contract with Wasl beyond this campaign.

“We’d like to stay in Dubai, because we like the life, I like the club, I like the players,” Trasch said. “And I want to show the club how I can play football, so hopefully I can stay.”

Updated: May 26, 2020 03:22 PM

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