PETALING JAYA: Sabah have set a record of sorts when they signed midfielder Telmo Castanheira (pic).
The 30-year-old who used to be a trainee at top Portugal club Porto during his youth days, will be the first Portuguese to play in the Malaysian League.
The Rhinos said their new signing is an industrious player and believe his time in Iceland with Ib Vestmannaeyja would greatly benefit the club.
And the player himself is looking forward to the challenge of playing outside Europe for the first time.
“I’m very excited to compete in a different continent. As for style of play, the league in Iceland and Malaysia is almost similar, so I don’t think I will have much problems adapting.
“I took this offer because I wanted to challenge myself in a different continent, see different styles of football and I believe I can make an impact here.”
Castanheira described himself as a player who loves to hold the ball and is a keen attacker in terms of assists and making sudden darts into the penalty box.
“But I am a team player first. As a midfielder, my duty is not just setting the tempo but also helping out defensively. I see myself as a box-to-box midfielder.
“The aim for me is simple ... help the club achieve their goals.
“I’ve trained with my new teammates for a few weeks now, adapting to the weather and also building chemistry.
“Right now I’m feeling great thanks to the warm welcome from my teammates and the backroom staff.
“I’ve been busy training and haven’t had much time to explore Sabah, but I liked what I saw of the city and the culture.”
Besides Castanheira, the other new foreigners are Brazilian centreback Gabriel Peres and Nigerian striker Jacob Njoku.
The imports retained from last season are Indonesian winger Saddil Ramdani and South Korean midfielder Park Tae-su.