Former Floriana player Igor Coronado has swapped United Arab Emirates side Al Sharjah for Saudi Araba giants Al-Ittihad for a record transfer fee.
In fact, the Saudi side spent over 10 million euro to bring in the Brazilian midfielder. A fee that compared with the money spent by some of the best teams in Europe looks ridiculous but it is indeed a record signing in Gulf football history.
Al-Ittihad were behind the previous record as well, having invested 6 million euro to acquire the services of Switzerland forward Aleksandar Prijovic.
They are one of the biggest names in Asian football with their eight Saudi Arabia title, nine Saudi Arabia cups and also two-time Asia Champions League winner in 2004 and 2005.
Coronado’s season at Al-Ittihad will commence in August when the Saudi team will face Raja Casablanca in the Arab Club Champions Cup, which is an annual region club competition organised by the Union of Arab Football Associations and contested by the best 38 teams from the Arab world – 19 from the Asian Football Confederation and 19 from the Confederation of African Football.
Al-Ittihad will be also participating in the coveted AFC Champions League, as they will start their campaign from the play-offs after finishing third in last season’s Saudi Arabia league.
Since stepping into Asian football, Coronado has become one of the most prominent players. At Al Sharjah, the former Floriana player scored 62 goals and made 36 assists in 107 games, for a contribution rate of 91%. He was named the best foreigner of the league in 2019 and 2020.
In a message on his social media profiles, Coronado thanked Al Sharjah, describing the team as his home while thanking them for their support during his stay.
At Floriana, he had scored 35 goals with 12 assists in 67 games between 2012/2013 and 2014/2015.
His impressive performances in Malta had earned him a move to Italian football where he played with Trapani and Palermo before embarking into Asian football.