New signing Erik Paartalu has wasted little time standing out at Chinese Super League club Tianjin Teda, with team-mates impressed by his stature
|By PADDY HIGGS
Former Brisbane Roar midfielder Erik Paartalu has already caused a stir at new club Tianjin Teda because of his height.
The two-time A-League title-winner joined Tiajin on January 14, departing to link up with the Chinese Super League club four days later.
And it appears the 26-year-old has wasted little time in making an impression in China, with local reports revealing his 193cm frame had shocked team-mates.
"Our new team-mate has arrived, so we must treat him as our brother from now on," Tianjin manager Alexandre Guimaraes told the press on Wednesday.
Paartalu - having made his debut for the club on Wednesday in a friendly against Tianjin Songjiang - said he had consulted former Roar team-mate Milan Susak before his move to China.
Susak spent the 2012 season with Tianjin as the club finished eighth on the CSL table, before he departed for Iran Pro League champions Sepahan.
"I talked about Tiajin Teda with Milan Susak," Paartalu said.
"He told me Tiajin is a great club, that the people are great. More importantly, it is a good environment and they have great coaches. So it is good choice."He is also already eyeing a showdown with his new club's bitter enemies, Beijing Guoan: "I know Tianjin and Beijing are rivals. Many people talked about that with me before. So, during that game, I might play harder than ever. I want Tianjin's fans to feel proud of us."