Dubai: Newly promoted Ittihad Kalba could be hedging its bets on UAE Football League (UFL) survival next term, with the experiences of two worldly-wise Brazilians.
Thirty-one-year-old journeyman striker Carlos Eduardo Ferrari aka ‘Caka', a Brazilian with Italian citizenship, has apparently already signed a one-year deal with the club on August 9.
Meanwhile 33-year-old midfielder Sidney Moraes Da Almeida Junior still has to impress at a friendly against third division side Dibba Fujairah tomorrow night, before he is rewarded with a contract.
Brazilian Coach Ednaldo Patricio couldn't confirm the signings until he had had his final meeting before the start of the season with club president Shaikh Saeed Bin Saqer Bbin Sultan Al Qasimi.
He told Gulf News, "We could have both, one and not the other, or neither, in which case we have to hurry to find two foreign players before the start of the season."
However a source close to the club said Caka had already signed and Sidney's contract should be signed after just two days. The source added that both players did well at a pre-season tour of Italy where the team won three out of four friendlies with lower league Italian clubs.
If successful, Sidney joins from Santo Andre in Brazil's Serie B. His career has spanned 10 different clubs in four countries; he has previous regional experience with Al Khaleej in Saudi Arabia and Al Wahda in Abu Dhabi but the majority of his career was played out in Brazil and Portugal, most notably with Sao Paulo, Fluminense and SC Braga. Caka has enjoyed a twelve-year career with 17 different clubs in nine different countries from Glasgow Rangers and Birmingham City in Scotland and England respectively, all the way through to Thessaloniki in Greece and Esperance in Tunisia.
He even played a season at Hong Kong club South China. However most of his playing days were spent at clubs in the Spanish leagues.
Caka who recently left Brazilian Serie B side Bahia, said, "This is my first time in the region, I'm very happy to be here. I've spoken to many Brazilian players who told me this was a good league to play in."
High on confidence
"We know next season will be very hard, they (the opposition) think we are weak but we have a good young team and a good coach. If we work hard we can make a surprise."
Sidney who could be joining from Brazilian Serie B side Santo Andre, added, "I hope all the local players help us to make this team strong. This is the first time in the top flight for many of these players they will have to work hard to adjust quickly to the technical differences in play."
If confirmed, the two Brazilians will complete the club's three foreign player allowance; with 24-year-old French-Guinean Simon Feindouno already at the club following last season's championship-winning promotion surge.