Perak stick to samba


  • Football
  • Saturday, 04 Jan 2020

Old hand: Guilherme De Paula was well-loved in Kuala Lumpur where he scored 66 goals in 76 matches in all competitions.

PETALING JAYA: It looks like there is no end to Perak’s love affair with the samba.

Their new signing, Guilherme De Paula, will be joining forces with fellow Brazilians Leandro Dos Santos and Careca for the 2020 Super League.

Since Australian coach Mehmet Durakovic helmed the Seladang in 2017, he has always opted for the South American players.

In his first year, Durakovic had centreback Thiago Junio Aquino, striker Gilmar Filho and midfielder Leandro, while in 2018 Gilmar and Leandro remained and he signed on Brazilian midfielder Wander Luiz.

Last season, Gilmar and Wander left midway in the season and were replaced by midfielder Careca and striker Ronaldo Silva in the second transfer window.

De Paula, 33, who played for three seasons with Kuala Lumpur, was signed on a year’s contract to replace Ronaldo, who decided to head home.

“It feels good to join Perak and be reunited with Leandro and the coach, who I’ve worked with in Selangor five years ago, ” said the striker, who has also played for Police.

“Perak are a big club who are always competing for trophies. I know Leandro’s style of play during our stint with Selangor. In 2015, we helped Selangor win their 33rd Malaysia Cup.

“Leandro is a strong character who gives his all and does not like to lose. I’ve played against Careca and he’s a composed midfielder with a strong left foot.”

The striker from Brodosqui revealed that he also rates the local players highly and is looking forward to working with them.

“As a striker, I’m expected to score goals and help my team win. For me, it does not matter who scores as long as we win.

“We have players like J. Partiban and Shahrel (Fikri Md Fauzi) to do that too.

“We need to understand each other and if the team unite as a family, we can go far.

“There’s also Shahrul (Saad), Nazirul (Naim) and Kenny (Pallraj) who are good players. Perak are in good hands this season.”

De Paula, who was well-loved in Kuala Lumpur, scored 66 goals in 76 matches in all competitions for the City Boys, but admitted that the decision to leave was not tough.

“I’m a professional. I have excellent memories in Kuala Lumpur and I would never forget them but it is time for a change.”

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