De Paula on a special mission
AFTER blasting a club record six goals past Armed Forces on Tuesday, Kuala Lumpur striker Guilherme De Paula is seeking to restore the city side’s long-lost glory years.
KL’s 6-0 demolition of Forces in Selayang took them up to third in the Premier League standings as they chase promotion to the Super League while also having one eye on the Malaysia Cup after being handed a favourable draw.
De Paula’s double hat-trick, which included two penalties, broke a KL team record of five goals held jointly by K. Kannan (1989) and Marcelo Padilha Da Rocha (2004), and took his season tally to 16 goals in 14 matches.
“I think we started well and under the new coach (Fabio Magrao) we have done well,” said De Paula after KL’s fifth consecutive win. “He helped us to improve and all the players deserve the credit for helping me to score six goals.
“I am very happy with the team now, before also I was happy but now we fight for promotion to the Super League.
“I don’t think about scoring goals for myself, I think about the team. If the team perform well then I am happy. I’m not a selfish player, I think about my team first.”
After three-time champions KL were drawn with Super League sides Perak, Felda United and PKNS in Group B of the Malaysia Cup, De Paula is excited to get a chance to play in a tournament he loves.
The Brazilian forward lifted the Malaysia Cup trophy with Selangor in 2015 and finished as top scorer with seven goals for Police last year.
“I have good memories of the Malaysia Cup,” he said. “I was top scorer last year and I won the tournament with Selangor. I think this year KL can go far.
“It’s a very difficult group because all the teams have good local players but we will fight to qualify (for the quarter-finals).
De Paula’s half-dozen goals, however, did not come close to the all-time record of 10 held by Tan Sri Ghani Minhat in a 1961 FAM Cup match when Selangor trounced Kelantan 190, which is also a record Malaysian football scoreline. Devinder Singh
Kuala Lumpur’s Guilherme De Paula dribbles past Armed Forces goalkeeper Hafizuddin Azuhar in their Premier League match in Selayang on Tuesday. Kuala Lumpur won 6-0.