UAE midfielder Omar Abdul Rahman has tweeted his thanks to Al Ain after completing a one-season loan to Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal for a regional record fee of €14 million (Dh59.5 million) this week.
Following Gonzalo Higuain’s €18 million loan from Juventus to AC Milan this summer, Omar’s Saudi switch is the second biggest loan move of all time.
“I warmly thank Shaikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, vice-chairman of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi Emirate and chairman of Al Ain Club for his approval to experiment in a foreign professional league for one season, and thank him for his indefinite support,” tweeted the 26-year-old.
“I also thank (Al Ain Club board member) Mohammad Thalloub Al Dharai, head of Al Ain Investment Company, for facilitating my move to Al Hilal and for his continued support.
“I thank from the bottom of my heart Nasser Bin Thalloub for his continuous support throughout my career and for standing by me in all circumstances.
“Thanks to the management of Al Ain and to the loyal audience of the leader for their sustenance. Al Ain will remain my home and my relationship with this edifice will remain perpetual.
“All thanks and appreciation to captain Sami Al Jaber, president of Al Hilal, who gave me the opportunity to represent this prestigious club.
“Greetings from the depths to all fans of the Crescent. I’ll do everything in my power to please the masses.”
Thousands of Al Hilal fans flocked to the airport to greet Omar when he arrived in Riyadh in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
His transfer was only confirmed on the condition that he first signed a contract extension with Al Ain. A salary cap in the UAE’s Arabian Gulf League has prompted the move.
“I wish Omar Abdul Rahman success and our priorities are clear,” tweeted Al Ain chairman Ghanim Al Hajeri.
“Our goals cannot be stopped on the player, and thankfully we have achieved a lot in the shadow of important absences last season. Figures and statistics confirm this and there is no room for emotion.
“Things are under control and whomever thinks otherwise is mistaken and the days will prove the facts. Al Ain is a towering club and continues to stand tall and will stay tall.
“Threads of the team come and go and do not change the values and concepts of this edifice and its components.”
Moving to Al Hilal is a homecoming of sorts for the Riyadh-born player of Yemeni descent, who was a product of the club’s youth system until 2006 when he joined Al Ain after he and his family were granted UAE citizenship.
By Ashley Hammond
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