Marcus Berg poses with this No 9 Al Ain jersey following his switch to the Arabian Gulf League club. Courtesy Al Ain Football Club
Marcus Berg poses with this No 9 Al Ain jersey following his switch to the Arabian Gulf League club. Courtesy Al Ain Football Club

Sweden striker Marcus Berg on joining Al Ain: ‘It feels very good — they are the Barcelona of Asia’



Marcus Berg's protracted transfer to Al Ain was finally completed on Wednesday, with the Swedish international joining from Greek side Panathinaikos on a two-year deal. Here are his thoughts on the move.

Prolific at Panathinaikos

Berg, 30, scored 73 goals in 116 league matches since arriving from Germany’s Hamburg in 2013 and was top-scorer in the 2016/17 regular season. A starter for the Sweden national team, he has 12 goals in 47 appearances for his country. At Al Ain, Berg will lead the side’s attack and wear the No 9 shirt, with his competitive debut likely to be the Asian Champions League quarter-final first leg against Al Hilal on August 21. It is believed the transfer fee was €3.3 million (Dh13.7m).

On leaving Panathinaikos

"There has been a lot of emotion back and forth around moving from Panathinaikos," said Berg in an interview with Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet. "Most people know what I feel about that club. But now it felt like it was time to do something new. When it was at its most difficult in Hamburg a few years ago, with injuries and little playing time, I couldn't really dream about being in this situation in my career now."

On why he chose Al Ain

"Al Ain had been very interested and it is a really big club. Now that I saw their new stadium, the training facility and met those who work in the club, it feels very good. Al Ain are among the absolute best in Asia. When explaining their place in football in this part of the world, they are compared with Barcelona or Real Madrid. The team is not as good as those teams, of course, but Al Ain has the best ranking in Asia. It’s really cool to get to be a part of their project. They have an economy that allows them to bring in very good players. It also means something that they want me to be part of it. There will be pressure on me to perform."

On objectives with his new club

"To win the Asian Champions League again. The only chance to reach the Champions League next season is by winning the tournament this year. But it is a very tough quarter-final coming up against Al Hilal in August. Then we will definitely try to win the [domestic] league in coming season as well. For me personally, this move does not make any difference in my ambition [with the national team]. I have big goals. Hopefully we can get really far in qualifying for the World Cup. Then there will be a European Championship after that. It’s up to me to show what I can do, that I’m good enough to play in the Swedish national team."

On earning a better salary

"I would be lying if I said it does not matter. Together with the sporting and family life, it feels like a good choice. Money has an important role the older you become. To get this chance at nearly 31, to go from the Greek league to a big team in Asia and earn well, it feels very nice. The money will be security for me and my family. Those who know me know I’m not a person who has a flashy lifestyle. I already have enough to satisfy me. The money here was not everything, but it does make it easier. That’s not something I’m ashamed to say."

On receiving other offers

"Me and my agent knew that there would be a few other offers closer to the transfer window opening again. The alternative was to wait and see what would show up. But Al Ain were very persistent and wanted to get the deal done quickly so that was a decision I had to make. Physically, I feel in great shape. I will focus on two years here and then we’ll see what happens. At the moment, I feel I can play for many more years to come."

If you go

Flying

Despite the extreme distance, flying to Fairbanks is relatively simple, requiring just one transfer in Seattle, which can be reached directly from Dubai with Emirates for Dh6,800 return.

 

Touring

Gondwana Ecotours’ seven-day Polar Bear Adventure starts in Fairbanks in central Alaska before visiting Kaktovik and Utqiarvik on the North Slope. Polar bear viewing is highly likely in Kaktovik, with up to five two-hour boat tours included. Prices start from Dh11,500 per person, with all local flights, meals and accommodation included; gondwanaecotours.com 

The specs: 2018 Nissan Patrol Nismo

Price: base / as tested: Dh382,000

Engine: 5.6-litre V8

Gearbox: Seven-speed automatic

Power: 428hp @ 5,800rpm

Torque: 560Nm @ 3,600rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 12.7L / 100km

Turning waste into fuel

Average amount of biofuel produced at DIC factory every month: Approximately 106,000 litres

Amount of biofuel produced from 1 litre of used cooking oil: 920ml (92%)

Time required for one full cycle of production from used cooking oil to biofuel: One day

Energy requirements for one cycle of production from 1,000 litres of used cooking oil:
▪ Electricity - 1.1904 units
▪ Water- 31 litres
▪ Diesel – 26.275 litres

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat 

What is the definition of an SME?

SMEs in the UAE are defined by the number of employees, annual turnover and sector. For example, a “small company” in the services industry has six to 50 employees with a turnover of more than Dh2 million up to Dh20m, while in the manufacturing industry the requirements are 10 to 100 employees with a turnover of more than Dh3m up to Dh50m, according to Dubai SME, an agency of the Department of Economic Development.

A “medium-sized company” can either have staff of 51 to 200 employees or 101 to 250 employees, and a turnover less than or equal to Dh200m or Dh250m, again depending on whether the business is in the trading, manufacturing or services sectors. 

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Director: James Wan

Starring: Jason Mamoa, Patrick Wilson, Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II 

Rating: 2/5

Russia's Muslim Heartlands

Dominic Rubin, Oxford

The Cairo Statement

1: Commit to countering all types of terrorism and extremism in all their manifestations

2: Denounce violence and the rhetoric of hatred

3: Adhere to the full compliance with the Riyadh accord of 2014 and the subsequent meeting and executive procedures approved in 2014 by the GCC

4: Comply with all recommendations of the Summit between the US and Muslim countries held in May 2017 in Saudi Arabia.

5: Refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of countries and of supporting rogue entities.

6: Carry out the responsibility of all the countries with the international community to counter all manifestations of extremism and terrorism that threaten international peace and security

All The Light We Cannot See

Creator: Steven Knight

Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Hugh Laurie, Aria Mia Loberti

Rating: 1/5 

Wenger's Arsenal reign in numbers

1,228 - games at the helm, ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture against West Ham United.
704 - wins to date as Arsenal manager.
3 - Premier League title wins, the last during an unbeaten Invincibles campaign of 2003/04.
1,549 - goals scored in Premier League matches by Wenger's teams.
10 - major trophies won.
473 - Premier League victories.
7 - FA Cup triumphs, with three of those having come the last four seasons.
151 - Premier League losses.
21 - full seasons in charge.
49 - games unbeaten in the Premier League from May 2003 to October 2004.

Apple Mac through the years

1984 - Apple unveiled the Macintosh on January 24
1985 - Steve Jobs departed from Apple and established NeXT
1986 - Apple introduced the Macintosh Plus, featuring enhanced memory
1987 - Apple launched the Macintosh II, equipped with colour capabilities
1989 - The widely acclaimed Macintosh SE/30 made its debut
1994 - Apple presented the Power Macintosh
1996 - The Macintosh System Software OS underwent a rebranding as Mac OS
2001 - Apple introduced Mac OS X, marrying Unix stability with a user-friendly interface
2006 - Apple adopted Intel processors in MacBook Pro laptops
2008 - Apple introduced the MacBook Air, a lightweight laptop
2012 - Apple launched the MacBook Pro with a retina display
2016 - The Mac operating system underwent rebranding as macOS
2020 - Apple introduced the M1 chip for Macs, combining high performance and energy efficiency
2022 - The M2 chip was announced
2023 -The M3 line-up of chip was announced to improve performance and add new capabilities for Mac.

What is the FNC?

The Federal National Council is one of five federal authorities established by the UAE constitution. It held its first session on December 2, 1972, a year to the day after Federation.
It has 40 members, eight of whom are women. The members represent the UAE population through each of the emirates. Abu Dhabi and Dubai have eight members each, Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah six, and Ajman, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain have four.
They bring Emirati issues to the council for debate and put those concerns to ministers summoned for questioning. 
The FNC’s main functions include passing, amending or rejecting federal draft laws, discussing international treaties and agreements, and offering recommendations on general subjects raised during sessions.
Federal draft laws must first pass through the FNC for recommendations when members can amend the laws to suit the needs of citizens. The draft laws are then forwarded to the Cabinet for consideration and approval. 
Since 2006, half of the members have been elected by UAE citizens to serve four-year terms and the other half are appointed by the Ruler’s Courts of the seven emirates.
In the 2015 elections, 78 of the 252 candidates were women. Women also represented 48 per cent of all voters and 67 per cent of the voters were under the age of 40.
 

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

SERIE A FIXTURES

Saturday

AC Milan v Sampdoria (2.30pm kick-off UAE)

Atalanta v Udinese (5pm)

Benevento v Parma (5pm)

Cagliari v Hellas Verona (5pm)

Genoa v Fiorentina (5pm)

Lazio v Spezia (5pm)

Napoli v Crotone (5pm)

Sassuolo v Roma (5pm)

Torino v Juventus (8pm)

Bologna v Inter Milan (10.45pm)


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