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Spanish Midfielder, Iniesta, Leads Star-Studded Line Up As UAE Pro League Season Kicks Off.

Andres Iniesta

The 2023-24 UAE Pro League season kicks off on Friday, and with the likes of legendary Spanish midfielder, Andres Iniesta, and Paraguayan magician Kaku lining up on the pitch, and Netherlands great Frank de Boer and revolutionary South African tactician Pitso Mosimane occupying dugouts, there are ample reasons to believe a repeat of last term’s engrossing campaign is on the cards.

Iniesta’s incredible arrival

It takes something a little bit special for an unheralded, newly promoted side to lead off a season preview. Emirates Club’s refreshingly covert capture of Barcelona legend Iniesta was just that.

How useful a 39-year-old attacking midfielder, who recorded just four goalless J1 League run-outs for Vissel Kobe between February and July this year, will prove to be during what is likely to be a grueling relegation scrap is up for debate. It is not a deal that guarantees the club will avoid a repeat of the 2021-22 season, when they were similarly newly promoted but went straight back down again.

Nonetheless, this is a move that further elevates a competition on the rise. Last season’s impressive growth in attendances and interest can only be boosted by the presence of a universally revered superstar.

The Roshn Saudi League’s unprecedented summer shopping spree has dominated the discourse about Middle Eastern football. When it comes to name recognition alone, however, only Al-Hilal’s signing of Neymar can match the arrival of Iniesta in the region.


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