Hilton still has plenty to offer
– Most footballers his age have long since hung up their boots, perhaps moved into management or punditry. But Vitorino Hilton (above), who turns 43 later this year, is still going strong.
Almost exactly 16 years after he first arrived in France, the Brazilian centre-back is set to lead out Montpellier today as they take on the Paris Saint-Germain of Neymar fame.
They may be compatriots, but the difference between the world’s most expensive player and Hilton is so great they might as well come from separate planets.
Neymar missed PSG’s midweek game in the French Cup, taking time off to plan his 28th birthday celebrations, reportedly set for a 800-capacity Parisian nightclub tomorrow, with guests asked to dress all in white.
Hilton, meanwhile, captained a Montpellier side that was dumped out of the Cup in the last 16, losing on penalties to fourthtier minnows Belfort.
Hilton has played almost every minute in the league for his club this season and shows no signs of slowing up. He wants to sign a new contract when his existing deal expires in the summer.
“I have played almost every match so far. I feel great. I want to continue for another year. We will see at the end of the season,” he said this week.
A title winner with Marseille in 2010 and with Montpellier in 2012, Hilton is part of a side sitting fourth in Ligue 1 and hoping to qualify for Europe.
Montpellier have won their last three league games, but it does not come tougher than a visit to Paris. Thomas Tuchel’s side are unbeaten in their last 18 games and sit 10 points clear at the top of the table.
And there is Neymar, whose brace in last weekend’s win at Lille gave him 47 goals in 50 Ligue 1 appearances.
“He is unpredictable with, and without, the ball. You don’t know what he’s going to do,” said Hilton.
“Playing against Paris is unpredictable too, but we have a good team and there are reasons for us to be hopeful. – AFP
I have played almost every match so far. I feel great. I want to continue for another year. We will see at the end of the season.