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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Rodolfo Arruabarrena to be named Shabab Al Ahli Dubai manager

Former Al Wasl manager returns to UAE football to replace Chilean Jose Luis Sierra

Former Al Wasl manager Rodolfo Arruabarrena will take the reins at Shabab Al Ahli Dubai. Getty Images
Former Al Wasl manager Rodolfo Arruabarrena will take the reins at Shabab Al Ahli Dubai. Getty Images

Rodolfo Arruabarrena has returned to UAE football with Shabab Al Ahli Dubai.

The former Al Wasl manager, 43, replaces at the club Jose Luis Sierra after the Chilean lost three of his five Arabian Gulf League (AGL) matches since arriving this summer.

Arruabarrena was available following his departure from Qatar’s Al Rayyan earlier this month. The Argentine had previously managed Wasl for two seasons, but left in the summer once his contract had expired.

During his time at the Zabeel Stadium, Arruabarrena guided the club to second- and third-place finishes in the AGL. Last season, Wasl lost both the Arabian Gulf Cup final and President’s Cup final, extending the seven-time UAE champions’ quest for a domestic trophy to 11 years.

Arruabarrena will be introduced as Shabab Al Ahli’s new manager at a press conference on Friday. His appointment comes as no real surprise given the speculation surrounding the position during the past few weeks.

Former Al Ittihad manager Sierra, who is understood to be poised for a return to the Saudi Pro League, had struggled to make an impact at the club, although he had routinely denied suggestions he was set to be replaced.

In his five AGL matches in charge, Shabab Ahli Dubai had taken only six points. Currently the Dubai side sit eighth in the standings. Arruabarrena’s first match in charge looks likely to be Sunday’s Arabian Gulf Cup encounter at home to Ajman.