JOHOR BARU (30 Dec 2015) – Super League football nomad, Brazilian hot-shot Paulo Rangel is on the move again after plying his trade with Perak before moving to Selangor followed by Terengganu.
The 30-year-old, a well known name in the M-League, has signed a two-year contract with reigning Super League and AFC Cup champions Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) – catching many by surprise.
Football pundits were of the opinion that his M-League days were over after he and Terengganu parted ways just after he made a return to competitive football after serving three months of a six month ban slapped on him by the FA of Malaysia (FAM) disciplinary board for violent conduct.
He played one Malaysia Cup match for the Turtles and many thought he will make good his contract. But after the away match against Lions XII the East Coast state agreed to mutually terminate his existing contract.
Terengganu failed to make the Malaysia Cup in a season which also saw head coach Abdul Rahman Ibrahim taking paid leave in mid-season before quitting the team. Former international Ahmad Yusof was appointed the caretaker coach for the rest of the season.
With Rangel coming abroad JDT have their four foreign quota. Rangel comes in as a replacement for Luciano Figueroa who has retired. The other foreigners in the JDT squad are Singaporean midfielder Hariss Harun, Brazilian defender Marcos Antonio an Argentine striker Jorge Pereyra Diaz.
“There is no bigger and more professional club besides JDT. JDT has immense potential and everything is here. Every player, myself included, dreams to play here. I am thrilled to be part of the Johor football project and I promise to give my very best for JDT,” said Rangel on the Southern Tigers website.
Apart from retaining the Super League title, JDT also won the Charity Shield this season. But the biggest success was historic – winning the AFC Cup – the first Malaysian team to achieve that status.
JDT are expected to pair Rangel and Diaz as twin strikers in the new season.