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FOOTBALL: Johor DT signs Argentine Pablo Aimar for RM7.2mil a season
JOHOR BARU: Argentine Pablo Aimar became the most expensive player in the Malaysia League after officially signing with Johor Darul Takzim today.
Though Johor FA declined to reveal the details, Aimar is believed to be paid RM7.2 million per season.
The 33-year-old striker's contract will see him as a player for two years, while the remaining three years will see him help Johor with its football development through JFA's football academy due to open next year.
Meanwhile, Bernama quoted Aimar who also played for top European clubs such as Valencia, Real Zaragoza in the Spanish La Liga and River Plate in Argentina, saying the offer the footballing project offered to him by Johor Football Association (JFA) president Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim was too attractive to be rejected.
"I want to be involved with football, not only on the field but also to give back to the community, especially to children," he told the media through a translator during the specially arranged introduction function at the Larkin Stadium today.
Tunku Ismail, according to Aimar, had told him about the project especially regarding youth grassroot development in Johor when they met earlier this year.
Aimar, who arrived in Johor Baharu yesterday with his family, said he had offers from various club in the Middle East, United States and Australia, but chose Malaysia as the country held a "special place" to him.
“I have fond memories playing in this country especially at Larkin Stadium here during the 1997 FIFA World Youth Cup where I helped Argentina win the tournament," he said.
Meanwhile, Tunku Ismail praised Aimar's commitment and said it was an honour for the local football fraternity to have someone of his calibre playing in Malaysia.
He said the former Argentinian player was a good “investment” where his vast experience playing in World Cup and European top clubs will help Malaysian players to develop their game.
“I promise that next season JDT will play entertaining football,” he added.