Al Nasr new boy Wanderley cannot wait to fight for silverware next season after years of battling against the drop at Sharjah.
Wanderley, 27, signed a three-year deal last month to complete a protracted move. This saw the Blue Wave gain a prolific striker, who despite successive scraps for survival had rocketed in 32 goals during 51 Arabian Gulf League appearances.
With the imminent prospect of a first AFC Champions League quarter-final for club and player against Qatar’s El Jaish, the Brazilian cannot wait to get started.
“I think that I will be happier and feeling better to be playing to win. Sharjah were a very good team, but the last seasons contained fights against relegation,” he said.
“I think it will be very good for us to always be fighting at the top of the table. But I want to focus myself to do a great job, work hard and score as many goals as I want to help the team achieve our goals.”
The ambitious Sharjah of this summer who have lured the lethal Gelmin Rivas from Al Ittihad plus ex-Al Hilal coach Giorgos Donis and centre-back Digao was not present during Wanderley’s time. Instead, he kept a struggling side alive in the top flight with his flood of goals following a July 2014 switch from Qatar’s Al Arabi.
The affable Campinas-native broke the 20-goal mark during both campaigns in the UAE and he has no intention of letting up during 2016/17.
“My personal target is to beat myself. Because in the last seasons, I have always been beating myself,” added Wanderley.
“Thank God, the last seasons I always scored more than 20 goals. This season, my personal target is to be even better than last season.”
Nasr have recruited impressively during the off-season. Wanderley – who will replace compatriot Nilmar – has been joined by lauded Morocco international and ex-Al Jazira playmaker Abdelaziz Barrada, freshly capped UAE star Fawaz Awana and the permanent addition of defender Mubarak Saeed.
Coach Ivan Jovanovic has been central to this push for a first league title since 1986.
“So far I have only had one personal meeting with the coach and it was a very interesting chat,” Wanderley said.
“He did not tell me specifically about how he is going to use me, but I believe I will be the No9 striker and the playmakers will work around me.
“I am very confident about that and very happy with the way he welcomed me. He seems to know me very well, so he studied me before I arrived.”
Nasr are currently undergoing a training camp in Poland. They kick off their two-legged last-eight tie at Jaish on August 24.
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