Former Al Hilal midfielder Nicolas Milesi proud to sign for "big club" Al Wahda

Matt Jones - Editor 18:48 25/06/2019
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Nicolas Milesi (c), Al Hussain Saleh (r) and Eduardo Voltan da Silva (l) have joined Al Wahda.

Nicolas Milesi declared himself “proud” to sign for Al Wahda with the Uruguayan midfielder happy to be playing for another big Middle East club following a successful spell with Saudi Arabia giants Al Hilal.

The 26-year-old central midfielder was officially unveiled at a press conference held at Al Nahyan Stadium on Monday, alongside fellow new Clarets recruits Al Hussain Saleh and Brazilian teenager Eduardo Voltan da Silva – better known as Dudu.

“It’s a very proud moment for me to be in this club,” said Milesi, who has signed on a 12-month loan deal from fellow UAE side Al Dhafra after notching one goal in 21 league appearances last term.

“It’s a challenge for me, to work hard and obtain the best for the club. I’m going to work hard and I’m proud to be here. I’m very happy.”

One-time Atletico Paranaense player Milesi left South America when he joined the Crescent in 2016, enjoying a trophy-laden two-year spell.

Milesi lifted back-to-back top-flight Saudi titles in 2016/17 and 2017/18, as well as the 2017 Kings Cup with Hilal, scoring six goals in 59 appearances.

He added: “I played in another big team in the Middle East with Hilal, I was champion twice there and one of the stars of a big team. For me to be here is a new challenge, because it’s a team that’s bigger than Dhafra.”

It was a busy day for the Abu Dhabi giants who also introduced new coach Maurice Steijn to waiting media – the 45-year-old Dutchman replaces compatriot Hen ten Cate, who left the club after a brief but successful five-month stint.

Ten Cate, who previously led capital city rivals Al Jazira to the Arabian Gulf League title in 2016/17, took Wahda to a third-place AGL finish and also led the club into the AFC Champions League knockout stages.

They take on 2018/19 Saudi Pro League champions Al Nassr early next month – the first time they will appear in the latter stages of the continental tournament since 2007, when they made it to the semi-finals.

Winger Saleh, 27, moves to Wahda from Dubai’s Al Nasr while diminutive forward Dudu, just 18, arrives from Sao Paulo’s Esporte Clube Sao Bernardo.

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