Hil­ton still has plenty to of­fer

The Citizen (KZN) - - Sport - Paris

– 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.

Vi­torino Hil­ton

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