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Gremio keeper Grohe leaves for Saudi club Al-Ittihad

Gremio's goalkeeper Marcelo Grohe (C) concedes Real Madrid's winning goal during the FIFA Club World Cup final between Real Madrid and Gremio Porto Alegre in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 16 December 2017. Real Madrid won 1-0. EFE-EPA/MARTIN DOKOUPIL

Gremio’s goalkeeper Marcelo Grohe (C) concedes Real Madrid’s winning goal during the FIFA Club World Cup final between Real Madrid and Gremio Porto Alegre in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 16 December 2017. Real Madrid won 1-0. EFE-EPA/MARTIN DOKOUPIL

EFE

Goalkeeper Marcelo Grohe, winner of seven titles with Brazilian club Gremio, has accepted a multimillion-dollar offer to play next year for Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ittihad.

Though the Porto Alegre side has yet to confirm the transfer, Gremio coach Renato Gaucho acknowledged Grohe’s exit in comments to the press Thursday before the annual all-star friendly organized by retired great Zico at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium.

“The same thing happened the last two years. Several players left. We lost players, brought in other and won titles. 2019 won’t be different. But we will put up a new team and continue fighting for titles,” the coach said.

Gremio apparently agreed to the transfer at Grohe’s request, and with an eye on the substantial rescission fee Al Ittihad has agreed to pay for the keeper’s contract.

Grohe, 32, who began his career with Gremio 19 years ago in the youth divisions, has made 408 appearances for the club as a pro.

He became Gremio’s starting goalkeeper in 2014 and only lost the spot a few months ago due to an injury that sidelined him for important domestic matches and the Copa Libertadores tournament, where the defending champions were eliminated in the semifinals.


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