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Fabio De Lima and Caio Canedo aim for further success following Al Wasl's UAE league title victory


Al Wasl players Fabio De Lima and Caio Canedo have dedicated the team's first UAE league title in 17 years to everyone associated with the club, calling for this victory to inspire a period of sustained success.

The Dubai team secured the Adnoc Pro League championship on Sunday night by defeating second-placed Shabab Al Ahli 3-0 at a packed Zabeel Stadium, clinching the title with two rounds remaining.

Earlier this month, Wasl also won the President’s Cup, replicating their 2006/07 achievement of winning both trophies. This victory elevates Wasl to second place on the all-time list for top-flight titles, tied with Shabab Al Ahli at eight, while Al Ain leads with 14 titles.

De Lima, a key player in Wasl’s success, scored his 16th goal of the season against Shabab Al Ahli, trailing only Al Wahda’s Omar Khribin in the Golden Boot race. Since joining Wasl in 2014, De Lima has become the club’s all-time leading scorer in the league with 164 goals.

After the title win, De Lima, who has spent nearly a decade with Wasl, expressed his joy: “I’m waiting, the fans wait, the people who love Al Wasl wait a long time. We deserve this moment. You see the party the fans do before the match, outside the pitch, outside the club. I never see this before in my life.

“The two trophies are for our fans, for our [club president] Sheikh Ahmed [bin Rashid Al Maktoum], our chairman Ahmad Mohammad bin Shafar. They make a good season, they make a good job, they support us until now. We are very happy with these two trophies – we make a great season.

“I do my best, we do our best one more time, and in the end, God helps us with two trophies.”

Despite playing with a knee injury towards the end of the season, De Lima, 30, emphasized his loyalty to Wasl, having received numerous offers over the years: “You will stay where you feel good. I feel good the whole time here with Al Wasl. The last four, five years, I receive a lot of offers but in the end when I go home and think about life … here in the club there are a lot of people I love. Great people.

“I feel comfortable to stay with Al Wasl and I feel like I finish my career here at Al Wasl. I know I don’t have much more – two, three years maximum – but thanks God, I gave some things to this club.

“If I go back to my country or my home tomorrow after one year, I’m very happy. I gave everything, I did my best.”

Similarly, Canedo rejoined Wasl last summer after nearly four years at Al Ain. Reflecting on their success, he said, “God is beautiful, Allah is beautiful. Look how he draws everything. Same situation as 2007, we can repeat now 17 years later.

“I’m just so happy – the first year coming back to the club, I’m blessed with two titles. I’m just happy that I could help a little bit throughout the season. I just want to celebrate.

“I want to dedicate this to the fans, you see how much this means, they’ve been very supportive. It’s like we say, we have the championship here [stuck in their throat], so we wanted to shout we were still waiting.

“And I told Fabio, ‘My God, the season doesn’t finish. We win, Shabab Al Ahli win, Shabab Al Ahli win, we win. These guys are so annoying, in a respectful way. They have a great team. But thank God everything happened towards us.”

Canedo, 33, who has represented the UAE since early 2020, urged his teammates to build on this season’s success: “We have to plan for the future. Next year we want more. Because the expectation is going to be very high; all the eyes will be on Al Wasl.

“So we need to be ready, our team needs to be more together, compact, as a true family. Because many difficult competitions are coming.”

De Lima echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the need for continued success and his ambitions with both the club and the national team, highlighting upcoming competitions like the Arabian Gulf Cup and the 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.

journalist and blogger since 2011, member of the Journalists Syndicate, member of the Medical Editors Division,. Plastic surgery media consultant, graduate of the Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University He writes in the field of health, skin care and relaxation.