Thursday, May 23, 2013


Hariss & Safuwan To Be Sent To Portugal

SINGAPORE — Portugal will be national footballer Hariss Harun’s first port of call for the 2013-2014 European season after he finishes his National Service commitments on Aug 9, top football agent Jorge Mendes told TODAY.
Also heading there is defender Safuwan Baharudin, who will follow his Singapore and LionsXII team-mate in the summer to start a professional career in Europe.
Mr Mendes, 47, also revealed that he is working with Singapore billionaire Peter Lim, a close associate and friend, to identify six more players to join Hariss and Safuwan later.
The Portuguese arrived here on Monday with La Liga’s Atletico Madrid, who won the Copa del Rey three days earlier and will face a Singapore Selection tonight at the Jalan Besar Stadium. The Spanish football giants are here to support the Peter Lim Scholarship that helps underprivileged young athletes chase their sporting ambitions.
Mr Mendes — who counts Atletico’s Radamel Falcao, Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United’s Nani and superstar coach Jose Mourinho among his clients — met both Hariss, 22, and Safuwan, 21, at a pre-match dinner at 1-Altitude at the UOB Plaza on Monday.
Last month, Atletico’s Chief Executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin said the club would be using tonight’s match to assess Hariss’ suitability for trials with the club.
However, Mr Mendes has since decided to send Hariss to Portugal first. “We have a club ready to sign Hariss and I will bring him with me to Portugal for one season,” he said.
“The boy will improve for sure because he has quality. It will be the same for Safuwan. He will come with me for one season and he will also improve.”
Mr Mendes declined to reveal the clubs which will sign Hariss, and Safuwan, or whether they will play for the same club. But he said the pair should not be thrown into the deep end at the start. Instead, they need to acclimatise to European-style football before they are ready for bigger teams like Atletico, he said.
Hariss said he will go wherever Mr Mendes thinks is best for him. Mr Mendes said: “We should wait one year, he should work hard and I think he knows exactly what he should do to improve and to play as best as possible to get into a top club, if possible, for the next few years.”
Mr Lim said he roped in the top international agent under his scholarship programme because he wants young Singaporeans to have hope, especially for those whose families do not have the financial means to back their sports career.
Said the tycoon: “The danger with (these) young people ... is that they can easily lose hope and their lives can then spiral downwards.
“This is why I set up the scholarship. And I invite players like Nani and now (clubs like) Atletico to Singapore because many top footballers come from impoverished homes and they never gave up hope playing in big leagues.

SOURCE - Today 

COMMENT - remember those old Batman episodes with Adam West? Meanwhile at stately Wayne Manor, millionaire Bruce Wayne with his ward Dick Grayson etc?!

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