Dubai: Al Wasl unveiled Brazil’s 1994 Fifa World Cup-winning defender Jorginho as their new coach on Sunday.
The 49-year-old former Bayern Munich player and assistant to ex-Brazil coach Dunga agreed to a one-year deal last Wednesday and will begin his tenure on June 20.
He replaces Argentina’s Hector Cuper, who was sacked after just four months in charge last month following 10 defeats in 16 games in all competitions.
Al Wasl are currently 12th in the Arabian Gulf League table, seven points clear of the relegation zone with three games remaining.
Emirati Salem Abdul Rahman continues as interim coach until the end of the season, but it will be up to Jorginho to arrest the club’s decline from the start of next season.
Al Wasl’s highest league finish in the professional era was fifth in 2011. The last time they won silverware was in 2007, when they won the league and President’s Cup double, but since then they have gone through 12 coaches — including Argentina legend Diego Maradona.
Jorginho said that, provided he was given the time, he was hopeful of turning the club’s fortunes around.
“I’ve been watching recent matches of Al Wasl and I think that the players should be performing a lot better,” the 49-year-old said. “I hope to have sufficient time to iron out these mistakes and I hope that, with the right chemistry between myself and the club’s management, we can get the club back on the right track.”
Jorginho has previously played and coached in Japan with Koshima Antlers and he said that, on top of playing experience in Europe with Germany’s Bayern Leverkusen and Bayern Munich, would stand him in good stead for the UAE league.
“I have been out of Brazil for around 11 years as a player and a coach and have trained in Japan and Europe and think that has given me good experience to perform well in the UAE,” he said.
“I have had good feedback from fellow Brazilian Ze Mario, who won the league and cup double with Al Wasl in 2007, and current Brazilian players in the league such as Ricardo Oliveira, Grafite and Ciel.
“I like all the circumstances and believe there are some similarities between managing here and in Japan. I hope to have the same experience with Al Wasl as I did with Koshima Antlers. I think I can do something here and I thank the board for giving me this opportunity.”
Al Wasl team manager Majed Abdullah confirmed Jorginho would start on June 20 and that the club would go on a training camp in Germany for two weeks from August 3.
“We had a variety of coaches to choose from but, when we sat down with the shortlist, we decided to agree upon a contract with Jorginho,” Abdullah said. “We have previously had very good chemistry with the Brazilian school of football and we hope to continue this with Jorginho.”