Football TransfersFabinho Completes £40m Move to Al-Ittihad
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The ex-Liverpool midfielder, Fabinho becomes the latest star to complete a move to Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad

Fabinho has finally sealed his £40million move to Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Ittihad. The star has ended his five-year stay at Anfield – and signed a three-year deal with the Saudi Pro League club.

The Brazilian becomes the latest big name signing at the Middle Eastern outfit after they also lured former Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema and ex-Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante.

There had been a slight delay in thrashing out a deal amid a paperwork issue – while there was also concern that his dogs would not be allowed in the country. However, the deal has now been completed now that all problems have been resolved.

Fabinho owns two French bulldogs and hoped to take them with him despite Saudi Arabia’s strict dog rules.

His breed of dog are classified as ‘dangerous and aggressive dogs’ in Saudi Arabia and are generally not allowed in the country, though this had not been a major issue in holding up the deal.

The decorated midfielder marked his move with an emotional video tribute to his time at Anfield shared on Instagram with a caption that detailed his varied successes at the Merseyside club.

Fabinho said: ‘Today I leave my home. It’s been five years wearing this jersey and always with the greatest honor and happiness possible. Since day one at Liverpool, I’ve been embraced by everyone. What I saw inside this club, the relationship between the people there, made me feel like family.

‘In these five years, I grew as a player, as a man, I made dreams come true… With that jersey, I won every title a player can dream of. Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup…

‘Thanks to Liverpool, I reached my highest level and played a World Cup. Thanks to Liverpool, I fulfilled my dream of walking into a stadium with my son in my arms. Thanks to Liverpool, I played in the best stadium in the world, with the best atmosphere in the world, which is Anfield. Thanks to Liverpool, I lived the biggest match of my life, the comeback against Barcelona, ​​which was only possible thanks to Anfield. That moment will always be in my memory.

‘I love what this crowd represents for the club. This love relationship between the club and the fans has always impressed me. And I can say without fear that “You’ll never walk alone”, after that match, alongside our fans, was the most defining moment of my career with Liverpool. I say this with a heart full of joy: I love this club. Thank you, Reds, for everything we’ve experienced together. You will never walk alone.’

Fabinho has enjoyed a hugely successful and trophy-laden spell since he moved to Anfield from Monaco for £40m in 2018.

Having already won Ligue 1 with the French outfit in 2016-17 he came to Merseyside and won the Champions League in 2018-19, the Premier League in 2019-20 and the FA Cup and Carabao Cup double in 2021-22.

He also won the Community Shield, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup at Liverpool, and his myriad achievements were detailed in the club’s farewell message to their former player, which saw Liverpool thank Fabinho ‘for all of his contributions to the club’s successes during the last five years.’

The Brazil international racked up over 200 appearances for the club, and would leave a considerable hole in the Reds midfield.

For their part, Al-Ittihad appeared to poke fun at speculation that Fabhino’s pets had held up the transfer in their video announcement of their latest signing.

Starting with a number of snipped headlines referencing the furore, the camera then shows Fabhino holding a tiger – in a reference to the club’s nickname – on a chain leash before the midfieder announces that he is now ‘a tiger’ himself.