Stuff of legends

  • Football
  • Tuesday, 28 May 2019

One for the camera: Kuala Lumpur’s Guilherme De Paula (centre) celebrating with teammates after scoring a goal in the Super League match against PKNP at the Cheras Football Stadium on Sunday. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Striker Guilherme De Paula is etching his name among Kuala Lumpur greats.

The Brazilian striker was imperious against fellow relegation battlers PKNP when he scored a hattrick to sink the Manjung-based side 4-1 at the Cheras Football Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.

His latest feat saw his goal tally reached 65 just three goals shy from surpassing Singapore legend Fandi Ahmad’s 67.

With seven matches left in the Super League, the 33-year-old, who is on his third season with KL, says the record is within reach.

“It would be an honour to break Fandi’s record,” said De Paula.

“He is a legend in the region. He was such a force for Kuala Lumpur in the 80s. Breaking his record would mean the world to me.”

Fandi starred for the City Boys from 1986 to 1989. During his stint, KL won two league championships (1986 and 1988), three Malaysia Cups (1987, 1988 and 1989) and the Asean Club Championship in 1989.

“I’m happy with the three goals as it was an important game for us. PKNP are also battling relegation and a win against them is definitely a morale booster before the international break.”

The league will take a break from today until June 16.

The national team will be playing against Timor Leste in the first qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup in a two-legged fixture on June 7 and 11 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

“We have to maintain our momentum and the last seven games will be crucial for us. Every game is like a final for us and we have to be on our toes to stay in the league. We’re still not safe yet.”

Thanks to their win against PKNP, Kuala Lumpur are now 10th with 14 points while PKNP are a rung below with 12.

With seven goals, De Paula is just a goal behind Johor Darul Ta’zim’s Diogo Santo, Gonzalo Cabrera, PKNS’ Kpah Sherman and Melaka’s Patrick Reichelt in the battle for the Golden Boot.

“I love scoring goals and the icing on the cake would be the top scorers’ gong. I know it’s not easy because there are lots of other good strikers in the league but I’m going to give it a shot.

“This season, my aim is to help Kuala Lumpur avoid relegation and to become one of the best goal scorer in the league.”

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