Saudi Arabia giants Al-Ahli sign former Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid star

Jose Manuel Jurado is welcomed to the club by an Al-Ahli official. (@ALAHLI_FCEN)
Updated 26 June 2018
0

Saudi Arabia giants Al-Ahli sign former Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid star

  • Jose Manuel Jurado joins on a two-year deal
  • Two more sign for last season's runners-up

LONDON: Al-Ahli have signalled their intention to wrestle the Saudi Pro League title away from Al-Hilal by making three further signings, including a former Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid playmaker.
The Jeddah giants agonizingly finished second to Al-Hilal by a solitary point on the final day of last season, meaning Al-Hilal have now won the domestic title for the past two seasons and a record 15 times in total.
Al-Ahli last won the crown in 2016 and they have been very proactive and aggressive in the transfer market in a bid to bring it back to King Abdullah Sports City.
They launched their mini transfer spree by recruiting José Manuel Jurado on a two-year deal. The Spaniard started his career at Real Madrid, moved to Atletico Madrid where he won the Europa League and has enjoyed spells in Russia and England. The 31-year-old has played for Quique Sanchez Flores, who was contacted about the Al-Hilal job, three times in his career, most recently at Espanyol. He is capable of playing on either flank but is most effective in the No. 10 role. He could prove a very useful foil for Omar Al-Soma, who has been the league’s top-scorer in three of the past four seasons.
Another recruit from Spain is Alexis Ruano Delgado. The 32-year-old has also signed a two-year contract. He is a veteran of La Liga having played for Valencia, Sevilla, Getafe, Malaga and Alaves, with Valencia once paying €6 million ($7 million) for him. His career peaked when he scored one of the goals in Valencia’s 2008 Copa Del Rey final win. Delgado is set to form a new-look partnership with Motaz Hawsawi at the heart of the Al-Ahli defense.
The third signing player to join is Nouh Al-Mousa. The holding midfielder moves from Al-Fateh has signed a contract until 2022. He will dovetail in the middle of the park with fellow new recruit Abdallah El-Said who has joined from Egypt giants Al-Ahly on a two-year contract. However, Al-Ahli will be concerned that El-Said came off injured against Saudi Arabia in the World Cup game and new coach Pablo Guede will be eager to find out the severity of the problem.
As well as making four new signings, Al-Ahli have also moved swiftly to tie Al-Somah, Mohamed Al-Fateel and Hawsawi to new deals. One issue they will need to be mindful of is that the captures of Jurado and Delgado mean they now have the maximum number of seven foreign players on their books. Any further foreign recruits will mean cutting loose one of Mark Milligan, Al-Somah, Giannis Fetfatzidis, Claudemir and Leonardo.


Al-Ain mount stunning comeback to reach FIFA Club World Cup quarters

Updated 13 December 2018
0

Al-Ain mount stunning comeback to reach FIFA Club World Cup quarters

  • Al-Ain’s Sweden striker Marcus Berg came off the bench to score a dramatic 85th-minute equalizer, forcing extra time
  • It went to penalties, but despite a miss by Berg, Al-Ain won the shootout 4-3 to book a last-eight clash with Esperance

AL-AIN, United Arab Emirates: Home team Al-Ain fought back from three goals down to draw 3-3 with Team Wellington before winning on penalties to reach the Club World Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday.
The Emirati outfit fell 3-0 down inside 44 minutes as Mario Barcia, Aaron Clapham and Mario Ilich scored for Oceanian champions Wellington.
But Japanese international Tsukasa Shiotani pulled one back on the stroke of half-time, before Malian midfielder Tongo Doumbia grabbed a second goal less than four minutes into the second period.

And Sweden striker Marcus Berg came off the bench to score a dramatic 85th-minute equalizer, forcing extra time.
It went all the way to penalties, but despite a miss by Berg, Al-Ain won the shootout 4-3 to book a last-eight clash with CAF Champions League winners Esperance from Tunisia on Saturday.