KUALA LUMPUR, Mac 1 – After more than a year of uncertainty, the Golden Ox seems to be smiling on national football coach, Tan Cheng Hoe this year as Malaysia’s preparations for the World Cup 2022/Asia Cup 2023 qualifiers in Group G stay on track.
Hours after it was confirmed by the FA of Malaysia (FAM) that Brazilian-born striker Guilherme De Paula is the third naturalized Malaysian after Gambia-born Mohamadou Sumareh and Liridon Krasniqi (Kosovo),Cheng Hoe made known his intentions to call him up for the next phase of national training.
”This is good news…to have De Paula in the squad is something positive for the team. He is sharp and a good finisher. He will be an asset,” said Cheng Hoe.
The 34-year-old currently plays for Perak in the M-League and has some impressive statistics to proof of football skills in his stint in Malaysia.
He played for Selangor in 2015, Police (2016) and Kuala Lumpur 2017-2019 before moving to Perak.

Cheng Hoe also revealed that he intends to call up between 28 to 30 players for the first phase of centralized training which is expected to start on March 20.

He is taking a precaution just in case there are injuries when the M-League kicks off on March 5.
A good example was the injury picked up by Shahrel Fikri when playing for his new team Selangor FC against Kuala Lumpur United FC in the inaugural Caring Cup (Piala Prihatin) on Saturday. Shahrel lasted only seven minutes before limping off.
”I have been told the injury is not serious,” said Cheng Hoe.
He added that 18-year-old Luqman Hakim Shamsudin who is currently playing in the Belgium League (KV Kortrijk) and 29-year-old Krasniqi who plays for Australian club, Newcastle Jets (on loan from Johor Darul Takzim) are still in his list.
The Harimau Malaya is preparing for the remaining three matches in Group G – against the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Vietnam and Thailand.
The remaining matches will be played on a carnival basis in June as decided by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
Malaysia is currently in second place behind leaders Vietnam with nine points after five matches.
Vietnam leads the group with 11 points with Thailand third on eight followed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on six with a game in hand.

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