Home / Euro / Al-Hilal signing Alberto Botia excited at prospect of Saudi league, working with Jorge Jesus
Al-Hilal signing Alberto Botia excited at prospect of Saudi league, working with Jorge Jesus

Al-Hilal signing Alberto Botia excited at prospect of Saudi league, working with Jorge Jesus

LONDON: Alberto Botia has admitted he knew very little about the Saudi Pro League or Al-Hilal before he joined the Riyadh giants this summer.
The Spanish defender was new boss Jorge Jesus’ first signing and has penned a two-year deal with Al-Hilal with the option of a further year.
And now settled with the rest of the squad at the side’s Austrian training camp Botia is looking forward to a successful season and hoping for domestic and continental success.
“All is going well. I have been here for three weeks and it keeps getting better,” the 29-year-old said.
“I got to know the team and my teammates better and this has helped me feel more comfortable here. I am very happy for that and I hope it is going to be a good year for the team level as well as for the players individually.
“In fact I was not very familiar with the Saudi league until I knew that Al-Hilal team were interested in me joining their team. So I started searching for information about the team and I found very good news about them, this is why I am here with you today. I am playing for Al-Hilal now, and I hope we will have a good season together.”
Botia, who signed on a free from Greek giants Olympiacos, revealed that the fact Jesus was the coach was crucial in him signing for the Riyadh club — something Al-Hilal were hoping for when they persuaded the Portuguese boss to join the club.
“The head coach is one of the best coaches in Europe and it is exciting to be working with him, I am happy for that,” Botia said.
“When I arrived to the airport in Riyadh, I saw a lot of fans cheering for me and for the team and this got very happy. It motivates me to work hard and give all that I have, to make them happy at the end of the season. Ever since the first day, the coach was motivating us; he encouraged us to give our best. We have to work a lot this year and this will make us better on the individual and collective levels.”
Botia arrives at Al-Hilal with an impressive pedigree. He was schooled at Barcelona, playing for the club’s B team nearly 60 times and making one appearance for the first team in 2009. He went on to play for Sporting Gijon, Sevilla and Elche before moving to Olympiakos in 2014 for €2 million ($2.3 million). There he won the league title three seasons on the trot and the double in 2015. He was captain of Olympiakos and plays at the heart of the defense so he could be the successor to Osama Hawsawi at Al-Hilal.

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