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Israel UAE



‘Motivated to enjoy the new challenge’: Former Maccabi Haifa soccer player Omer Atzili becomes the newest player for the Emirati soccer club Al Ain.

Former Maccabi Haifa soccer player Omer Atzili signed his three-year contract on Wednesday to become the newest player for the Emirati soccer club Al Ain, which shared photos on social media from the signing ceremony.

Pictures posted by Al Ain on Twitter show Atzili signing his contract with the team while sporting a shirt with the club’s logo and in additional photos he shows off his new jersey. Atzili said, “I am very proud to be included in the list of Asian champions and world runners-up.”

“I am really motivated to enjoy the new challenge … really, it’s a great feeling,” he added. “Al Ain team is one of the biggest clubs in Asia,” he added.

Al Ain, which is ranked second place in the UAE league, first announced last week that it reached an agreement to sign Atzili from Maccabi Haifa, a team he was with for two and a half years. The Israeli athlete will play for the UAE team coached by Dutch former player Alfred Schreuder for a transfer fee of two million Euros ($2.1 million), Israel’s Mako reported. The Israeli publication added that Atzili will receive 1.8 million Euros ($1.9 million) in his first season with the Emirati team and that he signed a three-season upgradeable contract that includes bonuses for victories, making him the top earner among Israeli soccer players. Atzili will replace the team’s Ukrainian captain Andriy Yarmolenko.

Al Ain was not the only club in the UAE that wanted to sign the Israeli player, according to Mako, which cited Emirati media. The clubs Al-Jazeera and Al-Wahda were also reportedly in negotiations with Atzili and Maccabi Haifa, but they did not match the offer from Al-Ain.

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