דיא סבע
Israel national team midfielder Dia Saba
Photo: Reuven Schwartz
Israel national team midfielder Dia Saba

Dubai soccer club to sign first-ever Israeli player following peace deal

Israel national team midfielder Dia Saba set to sign a three-year contract worth $3 million a season with a UAE side, becoming the first-ever Israeli player to don the kit of an Arabian Gulf state sports club

Nadav Zenziper |
Published: 09.24.20 , 14:41
Dubai-based soccer club Al-Nasr SC will sign an Israeli player in the coming days, a move made possible after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced it was normalizing ties with the Jewish state last month.
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  • Israel national team midfielder Dia Saba, who is currently playing for Chinese Super League club Guangzhou R&F, is set to leave the Far East outfit after a year-and-a-half stint and sign a three-year contract worth $3 million a season with the UAE club, becoming the first-ever Israeli player to don the kit of an Arabian Gulf state sports club.
    דיא סבעדיא סבע
    Israel national team midfielder Dia Saba
    (Photo: Reuven Schwartz)
    Saba signed for Guangzhou R&F from Hapoel Be'er Sheva F.C. in January 2019 in a deal worth 5 million euros and linked up with compatriot and Israeli national team striker, Eran Zahavi, who also left the Chinese side recently to sign for Dutch giants P.S.V Eindhoven.
    During his stint in Guangzhou, the midfielder found the back of the net 18 times in 37 appearances.
    Al-Nasr is the first-ever soccer club to be formed in the Gulf kingdom, established in 1945, and plays in its top-flight. The club hosts its games at the Al Maktoum Stadium, which has a 15,000-seat capacity.
    The club has won the UAE first division 3 times in its history, lifting its last league title 34 years ago. Al-Nasr has also won the domestic cup 4 times, the UAE Federation Cup 3 times, the Supercup twice, and the league cup twice – winning its last honor just last season after a 2:1 win over defending champions Shabab Al Ahli.
    ערן זהבי מראיין את דיא סבעערן זהבי מראיין את דיא סבע
    Dia Saba and Israel national team striker Eran Zahavi during their joint stint at Chinese outfit Guangzhou R&F
    (Photo: Guangzhou R&F official website)
    The UAE league has not yet started, and a number of games have already been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Al-Nasr is scheduled to host Ajman on October 18 as part of the UAE Arabian Gulf League's fourth matchday.
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