Former Real Madrid CF and Spain captain Fernando Hierro has joined Qatari side Al Rayyan on a one-year contract.
In good company
The defender follows the example of several leading players, including Germans Stefan Effenberg and Mario Basler and Argentinian Gabriel Batistuta, who have been lured by clubs to the Gulf state.
Out of contract
Hierro arrived in Qatar on Wednesday after signing the deal with Al Rayyan earlier this week. He was released by Madrid in June at the end of his contract, having led the club to the Spanish championship. The 35-year-old also captained Spain at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
The centre-back spent 14 years at Madrid, winning three UEFA Champions League titles and six league titles. Al Rayyan have not revealed the financial details of the deal. An official presentation is expected in the next couple of days.
Meanwhile, Hierro's old international colleague Josep Guardiola has reached an agreement with another Qatari club, Al Ahli. The former FC Barcelona captain is expected to join Al-Ahli in a one-year deal. "We are waiting to receive the paperwork for Guardiola to sign," said the player's representative José María Orobitg.