• Mon. Sep 27th, 2021

Lion City Sailors sign $3m player. Fans react.

Jan 21, 2021

The Lion City Sailors have signed up Brazilian footballer Diego Lopes from Portuguese side Rio Avenue for almost $3 million. 

The club made the announcement on its Facebook page last night which then sent the local football fraternity into a frenzy. 

Most were surprised that a Singapore Premier League club would sign a player for that kind of fee. 

On the Singapore Premier League Facebook page, reactions varied.

Some welcomed him.

Others started comparing to our northern neighbour across the Causeway.

Some questioned the intent of the move.

And then the usual.

The fee will surely be a talking point among the football following fraternity in Singapore who are not used to multi-million dollar transfer fees.

Most clubs (save the Lion City Sailors which is privately owned) operate on a budget of about $2 million or less on an annual basis. 

26-year-old Lopes is a journeyman whose football journey has taken from him through Portugal, Turkey and Greece over the course of his career which started in 2012.

Last year, he made a couple of appearances in the Europa League with Rio Avenue and was featured in matches against Italian side AC Milan and Turkish side Besiktas.

Rio Avenue put up a thank you statement on its Facebook page, which also contained a fuller statement and video posted on the club’s website.

Lopes joins a team which obviously has intent in doing well in Asian competitions, with players like Gabriel Quak, Shahdan Sulaiman and Hassan Sunny already among the players on the roster.

The Sailors also announced the signing of another Brazilian Jorge Fellipe from Saudi Arabian side Al Tai which plays in the second tier of Saudi Arabian football.

Photos: Rio Avenue

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