New Al Ahli signing Grafite aiming for more success in UAE

The Brazilian was unveiled by the Dubai giants on Sunday and told reporters he's hoping to reproduce some of the form he displayed when he won the German title with Wolfsburg

New Al Ahli signing Grafite admits there will be expectations on him to deliver in Dubai but says he expects to score goals and ensure the club is a success.

The 32-year-old Brazil international was unveiled by Al Ahli at a press conference on Sunday, alongside fellow new signing Jaja and retiring veteran Fabio Cannavaro.

UAE giants Al Ahli have finished the past two seasons in eighth place having won the Pro-League title in 2008-09.

Grafite joins Al Ahli after a fruitful stint at Wolfsburg where he scored 59 goals in 107 appearances including 28 strikes during their title-winning 2008-09 Bundesliga campaign.

The former Le Mans and Sao Paulo striker told reporters he wants to enjoy more success in the UAE.

"I am very happy to be here as it gives me so much of confidence. I want to give my best and score goals like before to ensure the success of this club, just like I did in France and Germany," said Grafite.

“My objective is always to score goals – I came here to do that. I know it’s going to be difficult to adapt initially because of the weather and the fact that it is another country, but the main purpose of me being here is to score goals for Ahli.

“It’s normal to feel pressure at a big club, but we’re here to do better than last year — that’s the purpose.

"Dubai is a safe place and I decided to make the move keeping my family in mind. I know the coach Ivan Hasek from playing against his team in the (French) league and when I heard the proposal, I was happy to come.”

Jaja, 25, joins Al Ahli from Turkish runners-up Trabzonspor.

"I am very happy to be here and I will try to give my best," Jaja said.

"I want to enjoy my time here, and though there are huge expectations here from me, I hope to make everyone happy with my football.”

Among the vast off-season changes at Al Ahli, the club have announced 2008-09 title-winning coach Ivan Hasek had returned to the helm after a stint in the Czech Republic.

Hasek told reporters: "Finishing eighth in the past two seasons is hardly a position for a club of the stature of Al Ahli.

"I want to thank the management for bringing in some big name players to the club this season. I am very happy with these players and we agreed to have them with us due to the quality each of them brings along with them.”

Al Ahli, who sacked former Aston Villa and Leeds boss David O'Leary during the 2010-11 season, have also signed Chilean international Luis Jimenez.

Hasek added: "It's really very difficult to compare what we had in 2009 and now. But with Al Ahli there is more pressure as they are among the biggest clubs with a lot of history. So naturally, the pressure is more."

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