x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Italy's Costacurta open to UAE move to work with 'famous figures'

Former Italy and AC Milan defender could be the latest high-profile name to join the Pro League.

Alessandro Costacurta, left, shares a good equation with Carlos Nohra, the Al Ain club chief executive.
Alessandro Costacurta, left, shares a good equation with Carlos Nohra, the Al Ain club chief executive.

Alessandro Costacurta, the former Italy and AC Milan defender, could be the latest high-profile name to join the Pro League after he said he would be receptive to an offer to manage one of the 12 clubs.

Costacurta, who played more than 450 times for Milan, was part of a delegation who met with senior officials at Al Ain recently to discuss an injury prevention and rehabilitation programme, and he attended the match between Al Wasl and Al Jazira last week.

The 45 year old has not coached since a less-than-distinguished year in charge of Mantova, an Italian second division side, in 2008, but would be open to resuming his managerial career in the UAE.

Asked if he would accept an offer from a Pro League club, Costacurta said: "Certainly I will accept because it is a new challenge for me and I like challenge and will be happy for that."

Costacurta acknowledged he enjoys a "good relationship" with Carlo Nohra, the Al Ain chief executive, but the prospect of the Italian taking over the Garden City team appear slim as the club only appointed Cosmin Olaroiu, the Romanian, in the summer.

However, Baniyas are without a manager and their board will surely note Costacurta's knowledge of the league which will have been furnished by conversations with countrymen Walter Zenga, the manager at Al Nasr, and Fabio Cannavaro, the former Italy captain who is employed by Al Ahli.

"Before coming here I have a good idea about Al Ain because we are watching the UAE football league in Italy, especially that some excellent people joined this league, like Zenga and Cannavaro.

"The UAE league is getting developed and it attracts football superstars now who are able to do more like Asamoah Gyan who is one of the most distinguished players in the recent World Cup. I believe such famous figures will help develop UAE football."

* Compiled by The National staff with agency