Defending UAE League champions Al Ahli have announced the shock signing of Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro on a two-year deal.
The 36-year-old defender, who has 132 caps for his country and led them to World Cup success in 2006, is believed to have turned down offers from Italy to play in Dubai.
"We announce that we have signed 2006 FIFA World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro for two years," said Abdullah Al Nabooda, chairman of Al Ahli's board of directors, on the club's the official website.
"This deal with a player like Cannavaro is one of the most important deals for us because he's a player with great experience and talent, while he's also a leader on the field as he led Italy to win the 2006 FIFA World Cup title."
Cannavaro, who will retire from international football after the World Cup in South Africa, stated his desire to finish his career in the oil-rich Emirate was one of the main reasons for his decision to sign for Al Ahli.
"I'm happy to sign for Al Ahli," he said. "I always thought of moving to live in Dubai as I love it and I have achieved my dream by moving to Dubai and play for one of its big clubs like Al Ahli."
Cannavaro spent last season on a second spell at Juventus following three successful years at Real Madrid.