Global news

Grafite urges Flores to stay at Al Ahli

May 23, 2012
By ESPN staff

Al Ahli striker Grafite is hopeful that coach Quique Sanchez Flores will agree to commit his future to the UAE club after leading them to Emirates Cup glory.

Quique Sanchez Flores led Al-Ahli to Etisalat Cup glory on Monday
GettyImagesQuique Sanchez Flores led Al-Ahli to Etisalat Cup glory on Monday

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Flores, 47, arrived in the Middle East last summer as Al-Ahli's seventh manager in three years and claimed his first piece of silverware on Monday as his side beat Al Shabab on penalties in the Emirates Cup final.

Grafite has flourished under Flores' guidance and wants the former Atletico Madrid boss, who has been offered a new deal but is yet to sign, to remain in Dubai.

"Quique is a very good coach and if he stays we'll have a big chance for next year," Grafite said. "Quique has a strong mentality and gives the players confidence.

"He is a wonderful guy, a great person and I hope he stays."

Grafite, the UAE's top scorer this season with 28 goals, is keen to stay himself and is already targeting the Pro League title next season.

"I hope to stay," Grafite said. I have another year on my contract, I like the team and I like the city. My family are here and my daughter also and I hope to stay, but it doesn't depend only on me

"I need to speak to the president of the club, but I hope I will stay. We have big confidence now. We'll have players come back from injuries and we'll have a chance to fight for the league."