Al Jazira complete the signing of Malian forward Abdoulay Diaby

Abu Dhabi – August 24, 2021: Al Jazira have completed the signing of Malian forward Abdoulay Diaby, who will join coach Marcel Keizer’s first team from Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon on a two year contract.

Keizer had worked with the player before while with the Lisbon-based outfit, winning together the Taca De Portugal and Taca Da Liga in 2018/2019.

The 30 years old player represented his country 17 times, scoring 5 goals. He also played for a number of European clubs including French champions Lille and Turkish giants Besiktas, as well as Belgium’s Club Brugge, whom he won the League and Super Cup twice with. With Sporting Lisbon, he won both the Portuguese Cup and League Cup, when the then Keizer-led side also finished in third place in the league, as a result qualifying for the UEFA Europa League in 2018/2019.

Al Jazira CEO Ali Yousef Al Hammadi spoke on the signing: “We wanted to sign someone who would represent a massive addition to the current squad, because we have more matches this season and want to perform to the best of our abilities, with the aim of winning with strong team performances”.

“Abdoulay Diaby was a perfect fit, he has the technical ability needed and has already worked with Marcel Keizer who brought out the best in him. We firmly believe that will happen again at Al Jazira, and Diaby will do extremely well with the help of his teammates.”

On the other hand, Diaby emphasised how Keizer’s presence as head coach wasn’t the only factor in choosing Al Jazira, explaining: “I personally know Keizer, I played extremely well under him and we won titles together, yet that was not the only reason I joined.

“Al Jazira have an excellent reputation in Europe because a number of global stars have represented the club, including some of the best African players such as the legend George Weah, and other stars such as Jonathan Pitroipa, Mbark Boussoufa and Thulani Serero.

“The club presented me with an outstanding football project, and winning the league last season will boost the confidence we have in ourselves to win more this season. I will give the best of my individual and team ability for the team in order to reach the club’s goals.”

Club sporting director Mads Davidsen praised Diaby, and expressed his confidence in the Malian’s eventual success at Al Jazira: “Diaby is a player we know very well also as Marcel has worked with him before, so when the opportunity came we believed this is the right profile to add our squad with his international experience and proven record. He covers all offensive positions, so will bring us with various offensive options and Especially under Marcel in our style of play, we are convinced we can bring back his best performances.”

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