x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Oliveira wishes Maradona well for the future as he says goodbye to supporters

The Brazilian winger, however, is not part of the new coach's plans for Wasl and played his last game in a costly defeat to Sharjah.

DUBAI // A loud roar erupted as Alexandre Oliveira stepped out of the clubhouse at Al Wasl's Zabeel Stadium for the final time late Sunday night after his side's 2-1 defeat to Sharjah.

Then a scuffle broke out between supporters and security as the Wasl faithful tried to drag the Brazilian winger - a fan favourite for the past six seasons - over the barricades for an honorary ride on their shoulders.

The supporters eventually got their way and the barricades were moved away. Oliveira was lifted into the air, with fans chanting his name. This continued for the next 30 minutes as Oliveira posed for photographs and signed autographs on khandouras and T-shirts, which had been made for the occasion with the player's name printed on the back.

Sweating profusely, he tried to keep his emotions in check.

"This club has been like a family to me," Oliveira, 32, said. "I am really sad about leaving, but now we have a new coach and he wants to bring new players. Good luck to them."

Oliveira arrived at Wasl in 2005, at a club who had won their last league title in 1997. In 2007, they won the President's Cup and league double and added the GCC Club Champions Cup crown last year. The South American played a crucial role in those campaigns, scoring 44 goals in the league over the past six seasons.

Oliveira, however, is not part of Diego Maradona's plans for Wasl and played his last match for the club on Sunday in a defeat to Sharjah that cost them a place in next season's Asian Champions League.

"I wanted to finish at Al Wasl with a win, not like this," Oliveira said. "But Sharjah played really well and congratulations to them."

arizvi@thenational.ae