MSL: Aimar vows to reverse JDT's fortune

MSL: Aimar vows to reverse JDT's fortune

He represents the biggest gamble by Malaysian Super League side Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) in their high-spending quest to dominate the Malaysian football scene.

Having played in two World Cups and a Uefa Champions League final, as well as winning league titles from Argentina to Spain and Portugal, Pablo Aimar is undoubtedly the biggest name to arrive at the league.

The highest-paid player in the league at a reported wage of RM7.2 million (S$2.78 million) a year, all eyes will be on the 34-year-old Argentinian playmaker to guide JDT to some trophies, after they failed to garner a single one last season.

For Aimar, it is a challenge he is eager to take on, after a successful five-year spell with Portuguese giants Benfica came to an end last June. "I felt the need to explore something new," he told The Straits Times.

This, despite interest from the Middle East football clubs, American outfit the New York Cosmos and River Plate - the Argentinian club where Aimar first shot to prominence over a decade ago.

"You cannot make comparisons," said Aimar, who has attracted over €40 million (S$69.4 million) in transfer fees over the course of his career.

"The realities of football in Europe, South American and Asia are completely different, right down to the way clubs are structured and how they develop.

"But I can feel that something big is happening at JDT. There's a long-term project, a determination on the part of the Crown Prince (Tunku Ismail Idris), to turn it into a top-class club."

And no expense has been spared, either.

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