Dubai: Al Wasl coach Jorginho on Thursday said he was relieved to have finally filled the club’s foreign player allocation with the late signing of Brazilian attacking midfielder Caio Canedo Correa this week.
The Cheetahs were the last club to have completed their summer business in the 14-team Arabian Gulf League, which kicked-off on Monday.
Al Wasl squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Al Dhafra in their opening game, when second half goals from Ahmad Ali Obaid and Bilal Najjarine cancelled out first half efforts from Neto Berola and Ederson.
Jorginho is now hoping that, with the addition of 24-year-old Caio, who joins from Brazilian side Internacional on a year-long loan, Al Wasl will fare better in their second game of the season away to Al Ain on Saturday.
“We’re very happy to have Correa here,” the Brazilian coach said. “I’ve been following his career since he began at Volta Redondo. He’s a great player, very professional, has good finishing attributes and is very quick.
“Our board tried to bring the player sooner but we are not one of the richest clubs and Brazilians are overpriced, so it took time.”
Caio, who has also played for Botofogo, Figueirense and Vitoria, said he was hoping to have an immediate impact.
“This is a big club with the right structure for professionals to develop their best football,” he said. “I’m very happy and I hope to shine here, score goals and help the club and coach have a good season.”
Al Wasl finished tenth last season, ten points clear of relegation, but 1994 World Cup winner Jorginho was brought in over the summer and tasked with getting the 2007 league winners back on track.
Caio completes Jorginho’s foreign quartet alongside fellow Brazilians Ederson, Neto Berola and Fabio Virginio de Lima, with the latter registering under an Uzbek passport to qualify as an Asian player.
“I know this is a very tough league with great players,” Caio added. “But we have a strong team too and I came here to do my best. The club didn’t have a great season last year but I believe we are stronger and can do better this year.”
Al Wasl’s next opponents, Al Ain, postponed their first league game of the season away to Al Shabab this week in order to play the first leg of their AFC Champions League semi-final away to Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal, where they lost 3-0.
Jorginho said Al Ain’s defeat on Tuesday would make them a trickier opponent to face.
“I saw them against Al Hilal midweek and, with the exception of three quick goals, they could have won, so it will be extremely hard for us. But we will focus and at least try to bring back one point.
“We had a tremendous first half against Al Dhafra but in the second half we had some mistakes, where we were not focused, so we need to work on this.”