The sleepy Western Region town of Madinat Zayed will be in for a rousing tonight with the arrival of Fabio Cannavaro. Cannavaro, the captain of Italy in the World Cup in South Africa and the 2006 Fifa World Player of the Year, will be the main attraction when he makes his competitive debut for Dubai's Al Ahli against Al Dhafra in the Pro League opener.
"There is no doubt, Cannavaro's first appearance will be the main attraction for those following the game around the country as well as the Dhafra fans," said Khalaf Ibrahim, a resident of Madinat Zayed who travels daily to Abu Dhabi for his job in the defence. "It is the first league game and falls on a weekend, even the weather has improved and become cooler. My guess is that more than the usual number of home fans, which can vary from 1,000 to 3,000, will attend."
Al Dhafra Stadium has a capacity of 20,000, according to the club's website. Al Dhafra is the Pro League's most isolated club. Its stadium is a half-hour's drive from the edge of the Empty Quarter and 300km from Dubai. "There will also be those travelling Ahli fans from Dubai and they too will want to watch their star player in action," Ibrahim added. email@example.com