Al-Hilal announce signing of UAE star Omar Abdulrahman

Omar Abdulrahman signs on the dotted line for Al-Hilal. (Courtesy Al-Hilal)
Updated 08 August 2018
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Al-Hilal announce signing of UAE star Omar Abdulrahman

  • It took time, determination and money for the Riyadh giants to get the 26-year-old playmaker on a one-year loan from Al-Ain
  • Abdulrahman, the AFC Player of the Year in 2016, has been the hottest property in West Asian football since he burst on to the scene at the 2012 Olympics

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian giants Al-Hilal have finally captured the signing of United Arab Emirates star Omar Abdulrahman.
It took time, determination and money for the Riyadh giants to get the 26-year-old playmaker on a one-year loan from Al-Ain. The hundreds of fans who waited at the capital’s airport in the early hours of Wednesday morning for his arrival were in no doubt that “The Boss” have signed a big star and an even bigger talent.
Abdulrahman, the AFC Player of the Year in 2016, has been the hottest property in West Asian football since he burst on to the scene at the 2012 Olympics. Born in Riyadh before moving to the UAE, “Amoory” has been linked with a move to European giants such as Juventus, Manchester City and Barcelona.
His first overseas move however is to his hometown club that he supported as a boy. That did not, however, stop the transfer being protracted, complex and expensive.
Al-Hilal will have to pay around €15 million ($17 million) to Al-Ain and the player for just 12 months of his services, making the deal the second most expensive loan in the history of football after the €18 million it cost AC Milan to preside Juventus to loan them Gonzalo Higuain in July.
The addition of Abdulrahman comes less than a month after the Riyadh giants, now led by new president Sami Al-Jaber and new coach Jorge Jesus from Portugal, signed Peruvian winger Andre Carrillo, who scored for the South Americans at this summer’s World Cup.
It also marks a victory for Al-Hilal over Al-Nassr. The other Riyadh giants, who finished in third last season, have been especially busy in the transfer window and made a late bid to try and hijack Al-Hilal’s deal for the UAE star, offering more money.


Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City ease past Huddersfield to cut Liverpool’s Premier League lead

Updated 20 January 2019
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Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City ease past Huddersfield to cut Liverpool’s Premier League lead

HUDDERSFIELD: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was far from satisfied despite a 3-0 win away to Huddersfield Town on Sunday that saw his side cut Liverpool’s lead at the top of the Premier League table to four points.
Liverpool’s compelling 4-3 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday heaped huge pressure back onto reigning champions City but they were rarely troubled by a Town side that look a certain bet for relegation this season.
City’s first goal, a deflected strike for Danilo in the 18th minute, brought up their 100th goal of the season in all competitions before Raheem Sterling scored a diving header from Leroy Sane’s cross in the 54th minute and Sane himself made it 3-0 with a calm finish just two minutes later.
For Guardiola, it should have been an afternoon of enjoyment as his side again proved their willingness to push Liverpool all the way this season.
The City manager, however, has forged a footballing reputation based on sublime performances as well as ruthless goalscoring and, on that basis, his team’s showing in West Yorkshire was not a success as the visitors never really clicked into gear on a day against a Huddersfield side who had parted company with manager David Wagner on Monday.
“During the season you have these kind of games,” Guardiola said. “It is important to win. We have scored many goals in all competitions.
“(But) the way we played, we didn’t deserve more than three goals. We will improve in the future.
“We have to demand more from ourselves in every game and do our best, but sometimes it’s difficult.
“Today we are happy we have won but after immediately we have to analyze. During the season you have games when maybe you are not in the top level and it is important to win these games.”
Although City’s fans were happier than their manager following this result, Guardiola could at least take some heart from the fact his side again refused to blink first in the race for the title.
For the second consecutive week, City kicked off knowing Liverpool had already won their weekend fixture and that, consequently, the onus was back on his players to secure three points as well.
Once again, Guardiola’s side managed to do that following up the 3-0 victory over Wolves with this showing and the City manager was more than happy to remind everybody that silverware is not handed out for another four months.
“One team has been better but we’re in January and there’s many more games to play,” he added.
“You don’t win or lose the Premier League in January. We have to focus on what we have to do. If Liverpool win, we have to win. And if Liverpool lose then we also have to win.”
This match was a baptism of fire for Huddersfield’s caretaker boss Mark Hudson and while the Terriers showed impressive fight to inspire some hope this season, this defeat still left them 10 points adrift of safety.
If, as expected, the Borussia Dortmund Under-23 coach Jan Siewert is appointed as Wagner’s permanent replacement, nobody would blame him if he spent his first day in the job preparing for a return to the second-tier Championship next season.
“It’s been a long week,” admitted Hudson.