thumbnail Hello, Malaysia's Mustapha "El Loco" Kamaruddin discusses about what Daniel Guiza's signing will do to Malaysian football and takes a look at past big name foreign signings


There were some interesting developments a couple of days ago. Not in Spain, Argentina or Colombia, but right here in Malaysia.

Premier League outfit Johor have successfully secured the services of Getafe striker Daniel Guiza in their bid to yet again be a dominant force in the Malaysian football scene.

The 32-year-old former Spanish international, who was with the squad who won the 2008 European Championships, will no doubt be an asset to Johor with his talent and vast experience.

Like Johor FA president Tunku Mahkota Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim said: "Guiza, who is worth 1.6m euros or RM6.3m, will be a great addition to Johor where his talent and skills can inspire the local players not only in the state but throughout the country."

Guiza made a name for himself after being crowned as Primera Liga top scorer with Mallorca, scoring 27 goals in 37 matches in the 2007-2008 season, and then helping Spain win Euro 2008, of course.

He has played 21 times for Spain and scored six goals. Not bad with the kind of strikers Spain has produced in recent years.  

Shortly after winning Euro 2008, the 5ft 11 1/2in tall Guiza signed up with Turkish club Fenerbahce, before returning to Spain and play for Getafe last season.

It is great to see that Johor have made the initiative to hire a player like Guiza. He is going to be one of the biggest names to ever grace the Malaysian professional football scene.

His presence will not only generate greater interest amongst Johor’s football, but also in Malaysian football on the whole.

The Johor supporters are expected to be back at Larkin Stadium like in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

The presence of talented and established foreign players will surely add more excitement to the M-League besides making teams better and stronger.

This has been proven before.

A few examples.

In 1995, Perlis hired Cameroon international midfielder Emile M'bouh M'bouh who was in the team that stunned Diego Maradona-led Argentina in the 1990 World Cup.

He also played in the 1994 World Cup.

There was a lot of interest and excitement in sleepy Kangar then as fans flocked the stadium to watch him in action.

Two years later, Perlis hired another renowned player in defender Stephen Keshi, who captained Nigeria in the 1994 World Cup.

Keshi is now the coach of Nigeria.

In 1989, Selangor hired Czechoslovakia international goalkeeper Karel Stromsik who was in the squad for the 1982 World Cup.

However, this does not mean that M-League teams should sign up only established internationals as they obviously cost a lot of money.

At the same time, there is also point of hiring foreign players who are of the same or even lower standard compared to the locals.

This may well give the local players the chance to have more playing time.

The bottom line is foreign players shouldn’t just be signed for the sake of it, otherwise it's a waste of time and money.

Malaysian football needs foreign players with some standard or class in order to generate interest, and in the process help the local players improve.

 El Loco can't wait to see Guiza in action for Johor.

Anyway, let's see how Guiza's former club Getafe are doing in Primera Liga thus far this season.

Azulones or The Dark Blues, under manager Luis Garcia, are doing reasonably well. They are now ninth in the table with 12 points from nine games.

One of their star performers thus far is exciting 23-year-old Morocco international midfielder Abdelaziz Barrada who is their top scorer with three goals besides having two assists.

Barrada is set to play yet another key role for Getafe when they host Real Betis on Monday.

A win for Getafe here.