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UAE football: Jorginho factor clinches deal for Neto Berola.

Dubai: Brazilian striker Neto Berola said the opportunity to play under compatriot coach and 1994 Fifa World Cup winner Jorginho weighed heavily in his decision to sign for Al Wasl on Monday.

The 26-year-old arrives on a one-year loan deal from Belo Horizonte's Atletico Mineiro as a replacement for outgoing Argentinian midfielder Mariano Donda. Formerly of Vitoria, Itabuna and Buerarema, Berola -- whose full name is Sosthenes Jose Santos Salles -- was part of Mineiro's Copa Libertadores winning squad last year, alongside the likes of Ronaldinho and Gilberto Silva.

Berola told aACAyGulf News' that the chance to work with Jorginho at Al Wasl was too good an opportunity to turn down.

"I was delighted by Jorginho's call, as you know he's a big idol in Brazil after winning the World Cup in 1994," he said.

"Working alongside Jorginho, with the Al Wasl fan base behind me, was very important.

"Coming to the Middle East has always been a dream and I have worked hard to make it a reality. I achieved great things at Atletico Mineiro but when an opportunity came up -- especially with a club like Al Wasl -- I was happy to move.

"I'm delighted with the way everyone here has received me and I'm looking forward to the start of the season. I am coming here to try and take a big step forward in my career and I hope to be the reason for much joy among Al Wasl fans this season."

Al Wasl team manager Majed Abdullah said Berola completed the club's allocation of four foreign players. Fellow Brazilian striker Ricardo Oliveira, Argentinian midfielder Emmanuel Culio and Palestinian/Chilean midfielder Edson Puch are still on the books at Al Wasl but Abdullah refused to rule out further changes to the squad over the summer.

In other transfer news, Al Dhafra have signed 24-year-old Argentine forward Matias Defederico from Buenos Aires side Huracan in replacement for Moroccan forward Kamel Chafni, and 27-year-old Brazilian striker Paulinho Oliveira from Curitiba's Atletico Paranaense in place of compatriot forward Rogerio.

This follows Al Ain's earlier acquisition of 24-year-old South Korean midfielder Lee Myung-joo from Poohang Steelers in replacement for Australian striker Alex Brosque.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jun 25, 2014
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