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Al-Ain goalkeeper Waleed Salem hails Palmeiras play-maker Jorge Valdivia

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Al-Ain goalkeeper Waleed Salem has hailed Palmeiras play-maker Jorge Valdivia.

The Chilean was a team-mate of Salem’s at Al-Ain between 2008 and 2010. Together, they won the UAE Arabian Gulf Cup, the UAE President's Cup and the Arabian Gulf Super Cup. During that time, Valdivia was also named the UFL Most Valuable Player and the UFL Most Valuable Foreign Player.

After his successful stint in the UAE, Valdivia decided to leave Al-Ain and sign a five-year contract with former club Palmeiras in August 2010.

Despite his departure, the 30 year-old is still held in high regard by the people he worked with at Al-Ain and Salem is full of praise for the way Valdivia conducts himself on and off the field.

“He was a great player and I was very fortunate to have played with him for two years,” he said, as reported by The National. “I had a feeling of joy while watching him score in Chile’s 3-1 win over Australia in their Group B opener.

“He was not only an outstanding player, but a team man. He helped others to improve their game and earned the respect of his teammates on the pitch.”

Valdivia, who has been capped 50 times at international level, will be hopeful of starting for Chile in their 2014 FIFA World Cup Round of 16 tie against Brazil at the Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto [Mineirão] on Saturday.


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