Al Ahli Dubai chief executive officer Ahmed Khalifa Hamad says new Brazil international signing Grafite has a huge role to play at the club as they shoot for the title next term.
The Dubai-based club have finished the past two seasons disappointingly down in eighth-place having won the United Arab Emirates league title in 2009.
Al Ahli, who remain without a coach following the sacking of David O'Leary in April, announced Grafite's signing late last week and he joins 2006 World Player of the Year Fabio Cannavaro as one of the club's foreign players.
The Red Knights CEO told Sport360 that 32-year-old Grafite, who won the 2008-09 Bundesliga title with Wolfsburg and the 2009 Footballer of the Year in Germany, would be an important figure as they chase the title in 2012.
“We haven’t done well in the last few seasons here and we are looking to bring up our team and do much better and Grafite has an important role to play in our plans for the future,” said Hamad.
“He is a well known player, who has been called to the Brazil team so he has a great deal of international experience and of course he will be one of the key players at the club.
“We want to do well and we believe Grafite will help us improve.”
Al Ahli have been linked with former boss Ivan Hasek, who guided them to the 2009 title, along with current Al Nasr coach Walter Zenga.