x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Top-scorer Baiano's Jazira future is in the balance

Fernando Baiano, the leading scorer in the Pro League this season, would love to return to the UAE next season but said his future remains up in the air.

Baiano spent the season on loan from Murcia.
Baiano spent the season on loan from Murcia.

Fernando Baiano, the leading scorer in the Pro League this season, would love to return to the UAE next season but said his future remains up in the air. The Brazilian striker, 30, has returned to his Spanish club Real Murcia after a successful season-long loan spell with Al Jazira. Baiano led the scoring charts in the Pro League with 25 goals and also weighed in with seven in the Etisalat Cup, as well as scoring three times in the Asian Champions League.

But he is unsure whether he will be permitted to show the Pro League supporters that he is more than a one-season wonder. "I have another year left on a three-year contract with Murcia and I have no idea if I will return to Jazira," he said. "It is up to the two clubs to decide where I spend the next season. I don't have much of a say on this matter, although I would love to return to Jazira. "I really enjoyed my first season in this part of the world and the level of football was much higher than I expected."

The strapping striker, who forged an impressive partnership with Rafael Sobis, the Brazilian international, was disappointed his first - and possibly only - season in the Pro League did not result in any silverware. Jazira finished second in the Pro League, reached the President's Cup semi-finals and the Etisalat Cup quarter-final. They also failed to progress beyond the league stage of the Asian Champions League. "I had a good first season in the UAE and it could have been better had we won a trophy," he said. "The Pro League had some big foreign names like Rafael Sobis, Jorge Valdivia, Hosny Abd Rabbo and some good Emirati players as well," said Baiano.

"It is the first professional season here and like everywhere else, the UAE league will get stronger with time." @Email:apassela@thenational.ae