x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Sektioui makes big move to Ajman

Tarik Sektioui, a well-known face in French, Dutch and Portuguese football, yesterday became Ajman's most expensive signing.

DUBAI // Tarik Sektioui, a well-known face in French, Dutch and Portuguese football, yesterday became Ajman's most expensive signing. The Moroccan, most famed for his stunning goal for Porto against Olympique de Marseille in the 2007-08 Champions League when he weaved his way past five defenders, spurned interest from a number of European and Asian clubs to sign a one-year deal with Ajman, worth ?1.2 million (Dh 6.2 million).

Sektioui's addition is part of Ajman's plans to build on an impressive debut in the top division last year. The Moroccan international, who is 32, hopes he can play his part. "The UAE is a new challenge for me and I hope I can leave a good impression," he said. "Ajman are hoping to compete for a top-four finish next season and I wanted to be a part of this challenge. "So I will try my best to help the club achieve their goals. I am convinced we can achieve our targets with the squad we have here."

The left-winger has won the Portuguese league title with FC Porto for the past three years and the Portuguese cup earlier this year. After starting his career with Maghreb Fez, Sektioui moved to AJ Auxerre in France in 1997, where he was nominated for the most valuable player award in his second year. In Jan 2000 he joined Dutch side Willem II, where he became captain. In 2004 he switched to AZ Alkmaar before rejoining his former Willem coach Co Adriaanse at FC Porto.

The Iranian Mehrzad Madanchi has signed a one-year deal with Pro League champions Al Ahli. The 24-year-old playmaker spent last season with Al Nasr, where he scored nine goals and had 12 assists. arizvi@thenational.ae