Family first for Mohamad

Youssef Mohamad signed with Al Ahli so he can be closer to his family in Lebanon.

Youssef Mohamad, the Cologne defender, said he signed a two-year contract with Al Ahli of the professional league so he can be closer to his family in Lebanon.

"I have signed, I wanted to be near my family," Mohamad told Bild newspaper.

Cologne have yet to confirm the deal, but Portuguese defender Henrique Sereno, 26, has already passed a medical at the Bundesliga club and is expected to be Mohamad's replacement.

Mohamad, who was the Cologne captain, said there was no other reason for his sudden departure than a desire to be with his family.

"There is only one reason: My family need me and I need them," said Mohamad, 31.

"It takes just over two hours to fly from Dubai to my home in Lebanon.

"There are more important things in life than money."

Published: August 21, 2011 04:00 AM