The 22-year-old Brazilian joined from Japan’s J-League side Kashima Antlers earlier this month and got his first taste of action for his new side in Velden am Worthersee in the first game of the club’s pre-season tour. Coach Zlatko Dalic was not concerned by defeat to the Bianconeri Friuliani and referred to it as a good test for his young side.
“The first half of the game was excellent and a good test for the young players,” said Dalic.
The Garden City side are without a host of top stars – including new summer signing from Bani Yas Amer Abdulrahman – who are in Spain with the national team for a month-long training camp.
The Croatian will have his eight international players back by August 10, with the Boss set to play Lokomotiv Tashkent in the first-leg of their AFC Champions League quarter-final at home 13 days later.
Despite going down to goals from Ryder Matos, Silvan Widmer and Samir Santos, Dalic declared himself happy. “I am very happy with this powerful experience, we are not looking for results,” he said. “The players continue to work and redouble their efforts during the training sessions and friendly matches in order to achieve the desired goals.”
Al Ain have opted for a high-profile list of friendlies in pre-season in order to prepare for their Champions League showdown with Lokomotiv.
They play Qatar’s Al Sadd on Friday and wrap up their European tour with a mouthwatering enc-ounter against Napoli on August 14 before heading back to the UAE.
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