FORMER Spain international Daniel Guiza has suffered the same fate as Italian midfielder Simone Del Nero – and his one-year contract with big spenders Johor Darul Takzim will come to a premature end when the second transfer window opens from April 8-22.
Just like Del Nero, the Spanish striker, who played a sterling role in his country winning the 2008 European Championships, played his last Super League match for the Southern Tigers last night which ended with a 3-2 win over Terengganu at the Larkin Stadium.
A Brazilian and an Argentine arrived in Johor Baru yesterday but their details are unavailable as no one is willing to talk the about the duo or about Guiza’s impending exit.
Even Guiza is rather in a daze and any efforts to get him to speak ended with a shrug and a sad look. He is certainly not his normal cheerful self.
But on the field, the bearded Guiza kept his emotions in check and bade his league farewell with a bang scoring a brace in Johor Darul Takzim’s come-from-behind win, which kept them within striking distance of new leaders LionsXII.
The Singapore side, with a game in hand, top the table with 20 points after a 1-0 win over winless Negri Sembilan in Singapore. Selangor and Johor Darul Takzim have 19 points each but are second and third respectively, separated by goal difference, after 11 matches.
Johor Darul Takzim’s winning goal came through Nurul Azwan Roya while Effa Owona scored a brace for Terengganu to take his league tally to six goals.
Del Nero’s farewell league match lasted only 70 minutes before he was replaced by Muslim Ahmad.
If the packed stadium was wondering why Guiza did not celebrate his goals in the 35th (penalty) and 45th minutes, the Spaniard probably wanted to show his sadness at his impending exit and probably also what the team will miss. His personal goal tally stands at eight, with six in the league and two in the FA Cup.
Guiza and Del Nero will don Johor Darul Takzim colours for the last time on April 6 when the team plays Selangor in the first-leg FA Cup quarterfinal match at the Larkin Stadium.
For sure, Johor Darul Takzim coach- manager Fandi Ahmad cannot afford to keep the two best foreign football commodities on the sidelines if his team is to stay in the hunt in the FA Cup.
Del Nero’s replacement is already known – Brazilian midfielder Andre Francisco, who is currently playing for Johor in the lower-tier Premier League. Johor Darul Takzim and Johor will swap players during the transfer window.
During the match against the Turtles, the home fans sang songs in praise of Del Nero, knowing that it was the Italian’s farewell league match.
During the transfer window, teams are allowed to sign up three locals and two foreign players. Johor Darul Takzim have released Ezaidy Khadar (midfield flanker), K. Sathiya (centreback) and Faizal Mansor (leftback) to Johor.
Johor, apart from Andre, have released skipper and leftback Farid Ramli, Muhammad Nazri Ahmad (centreback) and Jasazrin Jamaludin (midfielder) to play for Johor Darul Takzim.