In an exclusive interview with Goal, Paulo Rangel revealed that he is very happy to play for Perak and he is determined to help the Seladangs finish in the top five of the MSL
The April transfer window before the second half of the Malaysian Super League (MSL) was meant to give teams the chance to replenish or supplement their respective squads. This was no different for Perak Head Coach Azraai Khor; Karim Rouani was shown the exit and in came Paulo Rangel from Thailand’s Muangthong United FC, albeit on a loan contract.
Rangel took little time to acclimatise and soon worked his way to become one of the Seladangs’ most dependable and threatening players. His record stands at six goals in as many matches and barely a few fans will be questioning his signature.
His standout performance thus far without question, was the 3-0 win over the much more fancied Johor Darul Takzim side, in which, the Brazilian claimed a hatrick in the process.
Speaking exclusively to Goal, Rangel expressed his excitement in joining Perak.
The 28-year-old brought with him a wealth of experience having already plied his trade in Portugal, Brazil, United Arab Emirates and Thailand.
“Despite having played in Europe before, it still excites me to join Perak and I’m very happy where I am. The Malaysian Super League is one that is continuously growing and very competitive,” Rangel declared.
The Brazilian has certainly done his homework on coach Azraai, knowing the 60-year-old’s past exploits, and was quick to heap praise for his boss.
He said: “It has been a pleasure working with Azraai and I’m learning a lot from him. Azraai is a smart and experienced coach and not forgetting the impressive CV that he has; winning numerous trophies in the past.”
Coming into the team, halfway through the season, Rangel was forthcoming with the expectation placed on him, given the circumstances.
“The team wants a strong finish going into the end of the league campaign and are hoping to finish among the top five in the table. Together with the rest of my teammates, we will work hard to try to achieve that target.”
For that to happen, any team will inevitably look to the senior players for guidance and as role models. Rangel thinks that those players are crucial to Perak’s hopes of moving up the table.
Rangel revealed: “We have several key players in the group that I think will help us with the push. Players with a lot of experiences like Rafael Souza, Farizal Marlias and captain, Shahrul Nizam. These players are important to the team to ensure our competitiveness in the upcoming matches.”
Preferring only to concentrate on the current campaign, Rangel however was more pragmatic about his future.
“At the moment, I cannot say much about it yet. I am still contracted for another year Muangthong United and we’ll see how it goes after the end of the season. For now, as I’ve said earlier, I’m very happy where I am. The staff and players are very supportive. The Perak fans have been amazing with their support during the matches. So, we’ll see how we finish before sitting down with my manager and deciding on the next step.”
Speaking of Muangthong, Rangel had kind words for two names, past and present that are associated with the Thailand club.
“I missed out on working with Robbie Fowler as I arrived at Muangthong a year late. It would have been quite an experience to work with such a legend. With that said, I think Muangthong has someone very good now in the shape of Teerasil Dangda. This young man is technically and physically ahead of the rest of the Thai players. There’s still so much he can improve and he’s definitely one to look out for in the future.”
Moving to different countries to play football is not just about the game but also about experiencing the culture in the respective countries. Food is one of the ways to learn about the particular country and it was no different for Rangel.
“To be honest, I dare not try much of the food here as they contain a lot of pepper and that is something not within my taste. They tell me the chicken rice in Ipoh is one of the best and now that I’ve tasted it, I wasn’t disappointed!”
Despite being in this part of the world, Rangel still holds Brazil close to heart and has been keeping a close eye on the Samba Boys’ preparation for the 2014 World Cup as well as the on-going Confederations Cup.
“It is a great feeling to have the World Cup in our own backyard. Especially for us Brazilians who adore the game so much and given our history in the tournament as well. I have high hopes that Brazil will form a strong team come 2014 and are able to become World Champions then. We can start by winning the Confederations Cup!”There’s still a big part of the season to go and with the Malaysia Cup competition starting soon, it will be interesting to see what influence Rangel can have on Perak.