JOHOR BARU: Brazilian Helton Soares Pereira found nasi lemak too hot for breakfast soon after arriving in Kuantan yesterday morning after a 30-hour flight from Rio De Janeiro. But he has promised to strike it hot as a midfielder for Pahang in the M-League, which kicks off next month.
The grandson of former Brazilian great Didi has completed the jigsaw in the Pahang team, who are under the charge of another Brazilian, Ralf Borges Ferreira.
The 28-year-old Pereira meant business immediately and joined the team in training, which began at 4pm – less than seven hours after his arrival here.
Pereira took in the local weather condition and environment by going through a light training session.
Pereira will have to live up to his billing as a “hot buy” in the M-League this season. The season begins on Feb 9 with the Charity Shield match between Malaysia Cup champions Selangor and FA Cup winners Penang. The other Premier I teams go into action on Feb 11.
Pereira, who stands at 1.76m and weighs 72kg, will be renewing his links with Ferreira in the Pahang team. They were together at Flamengo in Rio De Janeiro and later in Qatar.
And he does not mind playing either in an attacking or defensive role in midfield for Pahang.
“I will not disappoint those who have placed faith in me and have brought me here to help Pahang win matches,” said Pereira.
He last played for Wacra Sports Club, a Division One team in the Qatar League. Prior to that he was with Al-Ryan for two seasons.
It is his first trip to Malaysia but as a 16-year-old boy, he spent one year in Thailand when his dad, Didi Pereira, was the assistant coach of the Thai national team in 1990.
Said Ferreira: “I am delighted to have Helton with me in Pahang. I know his qualities. He is one player who will fit into my match plans.
“He is a player with a very high work rate. He joined training soon after a tiring journey here and this reflected his enthusiasm and zest for the game.”
Pahang have also strengthened their team with the signing of internationals Hairuddin Omar, Rosdi Talib and Subri Sulong from Terengganu.
But Ferreira said that there was still a lot of work to be done after seeing his team beat Public Bank 2-1 in a friendly match three days ago.
“I am still not happy with the team. The players have yet to get used to the 3-5-2 system. They have to learn the techniques and tactics of the new system.
“The newcomers to the team need time to settle down. I am optimistic we will be ready before the season kicks off,” he said.