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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