x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Ricardo Oliveira targets return home after ending time in UAE

Reports of interest in strikers from several Brazilian clubs spurred move

Ricardo Oliveira, pictured with Al Jazira during an Arabian Gulf League game against Al Wasl at Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on September 21, 2013, is expected to return to Brazil soon. Satish Kumar / The National
Ricardo Oliveira, pictured with Al Jazira during an Arabian Gulf League game against Al Wasl at Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on September 21, 2013, is expected to return to Brazil soon. Satish Kumar / The National

DUBAI // Ricardo Oliveira’s five-year association with UAE football came to an end on Thursday after the Brazilian striker and Al Wasl decided to terminate their contract by “mutual consent”.

A former AC Milan and Valencia star, Oliveira arrived in the UAE from Spanish club Real Betis in 2009, following one of the biggest deals for a foreign player in Emirati history. Al Jazira reportedly paid €14 million (Dh68.7m) for Oliveira, who was 29 at the time.

Except for a brief return to Sao Paulo on loan in 2010, Oliveira continued with Jazira till January, making 78 appearances and scoring 54 goals.

The Abu Dhabi club, however, decided to release the ageing forward, and following lengthy negotiations, he signed a one-and-a-half-year deal with Wasl to remain in the Arabian Gulf League.

Oliveira, however, did not report back for the pre-season camp after returning home at the end of last season, amid reports of interest from several Brazilian clubs, including Palmeiras.

In a statement released on Thursday, Wasl confirmed his departure, saying the two parties had decided to terminate their contract by mutual agreement.

“We decided to end the contract with the player after receiving many offers for the Brazilian’s card,” Wasl said. “The player was also keen on a return to the Brazilian league.”

arizvi@thenational.ae

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