Former Sharjah star Igor Coronado finally joins up with new club Al Ittihad

Brazilian playmaker, recognised as one of the best foreign imports to play in the UAE, made the record-breaking move to the Saudi Arabian side earlier this month

Igor Coronado in action for Sharjah.
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Former Sharjah star Igor Coronado has met up with new side Al Ittihad at their pre-season training camp in Austria.

The Brazilian, 28, signed for the Saudi Arabian club earlier this month in what was reported as the most expensive transfer in history between GCC clubs, at an apparent $12 million.

Coronado has spent the time since working on his fitness in Dubai, before eventually travelling to Europe to join his new teammates. Ittihad posted pictures of Coronado in Austria on their social media account on Wednesday.

The playmaker, who signed for Sharjah from Italy’s Palermo in 2018, is regarded as one of the finest foreign players to have played in the UAE. He was an integral part in Sharjah winning the 2018/19 Arabian Gulf League – the club’s first UAE championship in 23 years - scoring 17 goals and registering eight assists. He was later voted the league's best foreign player that season.

Upon his transfer to Ittihad, which had been mooted for some time, Coronado posted on social media: “Today I say goodbye to an amazing club. I leave the club with the feeling of accomplishment. I can’t thank enough my teammates and the fans for all the love and support.

“Sharjah made me and my family feel at home. It has been the most magical years of my career. I wish Sharjah all the best for the future. Thank you with all my heart.”

Following a superb debut campaign, Coronado’s progress at Sharjah was stunted somewhat by injury, although he was still the team’s standout performer in last year’s Asian Champions League as the UAE side missed out on goal difference on qualification for the knockout stages.

Last season, he returned to fitness and form, scoring 17 goals in 25 Arabian Gulf League appearances to help Sharjah finish fourth.

Previous to his move to the UAE, Coronado spent time in the lower leagues in England and then in the Maltese top flight before switching to Italy. There, he represented Trapani and Palermo, both in Serie B.

Ittihad, meanwhile, finished last season’s Saudi Pro League in third place, five points off eventual winners Al Hilal.

Updated: July 22, 2021, 9:49 AM