‘We are well prepared’

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‘We are well prepared’

Hugo Viana wanted to have a different experience in his career after he finished his successful stint at the Portuguese club Braga. It was perhaps one of the reasons why he preferred Al Ahli as his next base for another two years.

By Adur Pradeep

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Published: Wed 28 Aug 2013, 12:02 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:46 AM

Hugo Viana, Ahmed Khalifa Hamad, CEO of Al Ahli club; Shehab Gargash with other officials at the Al Ahli Club in Dubai. — KT photo by M Sajjad


Gargash Enterprises has entered into three-year partnership with Al Ahli Club and announced Mercedes-Benz as its official car. “This alliance will make 40 Mercedes-Benz cars, inclusive of many of the latest saloon and SUV models, accessible to Al Ahli Club’s many players and staff,” officials announced during a press conference at the club on Tuesday.

Al Ahli Club CEO Ahmed Khalifa Hamad said: “Gargash Enterprises and the Mercedes-Benz brand is a wonderful association to have at the club, with Gargash having strong local roots plus the global dominance of Mercedes-Benz mirrors the club values of staying strong to its community and heritage whilst building the brand at a global level.’

Shehab Gargash, board member of Gargash Enterprises said: “We are tremendously excited about this relationship as it will help in building a strong bond between two great local associations, along with providing a leading football club in the UAE with a luxurious car that can carry its prominently successful image along. In our national teams, we attach a great deal of importance to team spirit and mutual respect and this partnership is based on the same foundation.”

Now, the 30-year old and his team are well prepared for the tough season, which opens with the Super Cup clash between UAE champions Al Ain and Ahli. One of the spotlights would be on Al Ahli’s new coach Cosmin Olaroiu, who left Ali Ain after guiding them to two league title triumphs.

Olaroiu is quite determined to change the fortunes of Ali Ahli this season with some interesting signings this season.

“We have trained close to three weeks in Dubai. We went to Austria and had a great camp there. We are very happy with the preparations. We are well prepared for the Super Cup and Arabian Gulf League,” Viana, who represented Portugal in two World Cups, two European Championships and the 2004 Olympics, told reporters on the sidelines of a Press conference at the Al Ahli Club on Tuesday. Viana, who is renowned for good set-pieces and passing skills, said he spoke to Portuguese national player and Al Ahli midfielder Ricardo Quaresma before choosing the Dubai club.

“I have some friends here. I spoke to Ricardo. He said very good things about the club, city and the people inside the club. So it wasn’t very difficult for me to join here. While talking about the Arabian Gulf League, he said: “It is not an easy league. Of course it is different but it is a big league with big names and very good players. So it will be a great season ahead.”

Viana said communication is also not a big hindrance while training. “They all talk English. We can learn some Arabic words as well… like some important words in football. So it is a normal relationship and communication.”


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