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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

SABAH FA EYEING EX-BRAZILIAN WORLD CUPPER


KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah FA is about to make their second biggest foreign signing ever by eyeing former Brazil World Cupper José Elias Moedim Júnior.

The former Inter Milan star, popularly known as Zé Elias played for the Brazil national team from 1995 to 1999 with 22 caps under his belt.

He was also part of the Brazil squad that won a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, United States.

Zé Elias is a much-travelled professional, and besides having had a stint with the Italian giants, he also played for at least nine top clubs around the world such as Bayer Leverkusen (Germany), as well as top Brazilian outfits Santos and Corinthians.

His last club was a top Cyprus outfit AC Omonia, and now he is believed to be attached to La Liga outfit Levante of Spain.

The Sabah FA Executive Secretary Harry Baking yesterday confirmed to the New Sabah Times Sport that they are in talks with the 31-year-old midfielder.

If this turns into a reality, Zé Elias will be the second biggest signing ever made by the FA after the late David Rocastle.

The former England star donned Sabah colours for two seasons (1999-2000) before the FA of Malaysia decided to bar foreign players in the M-League. However, Harry refused to comment further on the negotiations, pointing out that it is still pretty much in the preliminary stage.

“It is still early to go into details as we are still in the first phase of negotiations. Nevertheless, we are serious to bring in an experienced player such as Zé Elias,” said Harry.

“What I can say now is the talks between the two parties are progressing smoothly,” he added.

Zé Elias began his professional career with Corinthians in 1993. He was one of the youngest ever players who played for the club.

Upon his debut for Corinthians, he had yet to reach his 17th birthday.

He played for the club until 1996 before looking for greener pastures where he signed for Bayer Leverkusen.

Following his impressive form for the German side, Zé Elias was snapped up by Italian giants Inter Milan after one season with Bayer Leverkusen and teamed up with countryman – three times FIFA World Player of the Year – Ronaldo – at Inter.

He played two seasons with Inter before joining Bologna. After a short stint with the Italian outfit, he signed for Greece’s Olympiacos.

He spent one season with the Greek outfit before heading back to Italy playing for Genoa.

After a season with Genoa, he returned home and played for another Brazilian top side Santos where he played alongside Real Madrid’s star Robinho.

He played for Santos from 2004 to 2006 before making a short stint with Ukraine’s Metalurh Donetsk.

After that he went back home and joined Guarani before signing for AC Omonia.

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