Brazilian midfielder Rodrigo Tosi
(C) signs his contract as DPMM
FC club manager Pg Waslimin PSJ
Pg Hj Abd Momin (L) and team
manager Ali Hj Momin looks on at
the Jerudong Mini Stadium
yesterday. Tosi, who played for
DPMM FC during their 2005/06
season, has accepted a
season-long contract with
Brunei's only professional side.
Picture: BT/Jason Thomas
Rodrigo Tosi knows exactly why he's back at DPMM FC.
The Brazilian midfielder, who played for Brunei's only professional club during their 2005/06 Malaysian Super League season, has become the team's third import after officially signing on the dotted line yesterday.
And though last season's Singapore League runners-up are currently seventh in the 12-team table, Tosi had no qualms when approached to play again for Brunei's premier team after coming to the country for a one-week trial in April.
"The management and many of the players seven or eight of them are the same, so of course, that's a good thing," he said after signing his contract yesterday.
"One of the reasons I came back is because I'm familiar with the people here.
"I like the people here and I like the lifestyle here, and I've always been in touch with the club and we talk every year.
"I hope I can help the team move up the table and finish as best as possible," added the 30-year-old when met at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.
His contract will run until the end of the S-League season.
Tosi last played for Iranian giants Esteghlal, the recently crowned Iran Pro League side proving their prowess in the regional scene after the two-time Asian Cup winners qualifed for the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League for the first time after a 4-2 aggregate victory over the United Arab Emirates' Al Shabab Al Arab last month.
Though Tosi's last competitive match was in November, the Curitiba-native doesn't think match-fitness will be an issue,
"I'm alright... It won't take long for me to regain my match-fitness," he promised.
"After all, I didn't just learn how to play football," grinned Tosi.
DPMM FC are now waiting for Tosi's international transfer certificate from Esteghlal, after which he will be eligible to play in all three competitions DPMM FC are registered in this year; the other two being the Singapore Cup and Singapore League Cup, the latter which they won for the second time last year.
Though DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic has yet to see his newest signing play a competitive game, the Croatian believes the club have picked up the right man for the job.
"From what I've seen... He's a skilled player," said the coach.
"I have friends in Iran who have told me good things about him and I trust my (local) assistants' advice.
"But for me, the most important thing for any import is that they must respect the locals and be respected by the locals," he stressed.
Earning that respect should be no problem though, with DPMM FC striker Shahrazen Said saying in April that he would welcome his ex-teammate back.
"It would be very nice to have him (Tosi) back in the team, He was a very good player for us," said Shahrazen in an interview with The Brunei Times in April.
"Tosi is a complete player. We used to play in the 2005 and 2006 Malaysian League together. Tosi is a good provider of a ball... a very good passer.
"He was a play-maker for us with his crosses and good individual skills. He also helped score goals for us, and moreover he was a DPMM FC fan favourite,"
"He would be a very good signing for us (and) if the deal goes through, it will be very interesting," added Shahrazen, who led the club in scoring lasst season.
Tosi joins Portuguese striker Joao Moreira and Brazilian defender Tales Ricarte dos Santos as the team's import trio, and with the club still allowed two more, it is understood they are currently on the hunt for a striker and a marquee player.
The club's next game is against Balestier Khalsa FC in their Singapore League Cup opener on Thursday.
They then take on Warriors FC on Sunday in their second Group D game both of which will be played in Singapore.
DPMM FCs last game was against Lao Police FC in the first round of the Singapore Cup on Thursday, a match in which they beat the defending Lao League champions 4-0.
A brace each by Shahrazen and second-half substitute Moreira put the club through to the second round (last-eight) for the second time in three tries. Shahrazen gave DPMM the lead in the seventh minute and made it 2-0 from the penalty spot five minutes before the break.
Though still recovering from a hamstring injury, Moreira's 78th minute introduction proved to be fruitful after he scored four minutes later. The Portuguese would then make it 4-0 seconds before the full-time whistle against a fatigued Laotian side.