No regrets for Ciel after Kalba strike against old club

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  • “I concentrate on my game and being together with my team"

    Ittihad Kalba star Ciel had no qualms about scoring a goal which stung ex-employers Al Ahli and has declared he would be happy to do the same again.

    Ciel, 34, marked his return to Rashid Stadium on Friday night with a late header which earned a surprise 1-1 draw. The popular Brazilian forward had previously netted 17 times in 39 games on the way to claiming two Arabian Gulf League titles with the Red Knights from August 2013 to his release in June.

    This latest effort at his old stomping ground had potentially-ruinous consequences for the hosts’ hopes of making the Arabian Gulf Cup’s semi-finals. But their former charge had no regrets when speaking post-match.

    “This for me was very good, my friend,” Ciel commented. “I have come back to Dubai, I like Al Ahli too much.

    “Now I play for Ittihad Kalba. I respect Al Ahli. But when I have a chance to score, I score my friend.

    “Inshallah, if I have another chance in another game against then I will have concentration.”

    Ciel proved an immediate success upon arrival from Al Shabab. He played a pivotal role in 2013/14’s double of the AG Cup and AGL, before a shocking double ankle fracture on opening day in September 2014 waylaid him for one-and-a-half years.

    A knee injury for Lima saw him come back into the fold last January. He impressed when scoring eight goals in 14 appearances, but was not offered a new deal upon its expiry at the season’s close.

    Such form saw him attract several suitors, with Ciel revealing a new name to go alongside his failed switch to Al Wahda.

    He said: “The president [of Kalba] called for me, Al Jazira called for me. I spoke to the president and I go to Kalba. This is very important, to speak.

    “It is very good for me. It was not just money, money.”

    When asked about why he was not still at Ahli, a short reply followed of: “I do not know my friend, you tell [chairman Abdulla] Al Naboodah.”

    Both Ciel and Kalba have struggled in the AGL during 2016/17.

    The attacker has netted once in four games, while the promoted club have lived up to their yo-yo reputation with a solitary win and quartet of defeats.

    “Now, I am feeling very good,” Ciel insisted when asked about his condition ahead of Saturday’s trip to on-song Al Wahda upon the top-flight’s resumption. “Before, I stopped for one-and-a-half years.

    “I concentrate on my game and being together with my team.  Inshallah, we will win.”