x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Sharjah sign midfielders Luciano and Mobali

Meanwhile, Diego Maradona, the Al Wasl coach, will be in South America to watch the Copa America with the intention to sign two players.

The Brazilian Eder Luciano, left, was a Mes Kerman player.
The Brazilian Eder Luciano, left, was a Mes Kerman player.

Sharjah have reinforced their attack with the signings of two midfielders, the Brazilian Eder Luciano and Iman Mobali, the Iran international.

Coached by Carlos Azenha, Sharjah were seventh in the league last season and scored only 30 goals in 22 matches, the fewest in the league aside from the relegated side Al Dhafra.

Luciano, 29, scored 22 goals in 33 league games last season for Mes Kerman, the top-flight Iranian side.

Mobali, 28, was scoreless in 30 matches for the Tehran-based Esteghlal side, runners-up in Iran's top league, but he scored for his country against Iraq in the 2011 Asian Cup.

Mobali has previous experience in the UAE, having played three seasons with Al Shabab and one each with Al Wasl and Al Nasr, scoring 33 goals, including nine for Shabab's 2008 league champions.

Mobali joins Sharjah as a fourth foreigner under the new rule allowing an extra expatriate player if he carries an Asian passport.

Luciano and Mobali join the Brazilian striker Marcelo Oliveira, whom the club re-signed after he scored 13 goals last season. Club officials said they hope to sign one more non-Asian foreigner to complete their squad.

Several teams have opened training for the 2011/12 season. Al Ain are in Italy, Al Ahli left for Prague yesterday, with stops in Vienna and Perth, Australia to come.

Wasl have announced they will remain in the UAE for training under their new coach, Diego Maradona, whose arrival date has not been set. He is expected to remain in Argentina through the Copa America, which ends on July 24.

Maradona is thought to be looking for perhaps two South American players to join the side for the new season. The club have signed Edson Puch, a Chilean midfielder, but they have not revealed whether they intend to keep Francisco Yeste, the midfielder from Spain who scored 10 goals last season.