Ħamrun Spartans yesterday unveiled Brazilian forward Anderson Ribeiro during a well-attended supporters’ rally at the St Joseph Band Club.
Ribeiro is no stranger to Maltese football as he enjoyed a very positive spell with Tarxien Rainbows in season 2009/10, scoring 10 goals in the league.
Last summer, Ribeiro, who turns 30 on July 2, decided to return to Ukraine, where he has spent most of his career, to join Metalurg Zaporizhya but he has now opted to move back to Malta after his representative, Edoardo Do Nascimento, aka Bizu, secured him a two-year contract with the Spartans.
The announcement that Ribeiro will spearhead Ħamrun’s attack this season has been well received by their fans who have been encouraged by their club’s efforts to strengthen the squad as well as by the appointment of Jesmond Zammit as coach.
German midfielder Heiner Backhaus, who turned out for Valletta in 2007/08, and winger Gianluca Calabretta have also joined the Spartans while defender Roderick Fenech has agreed a one-year contract extension with the club.
Goalkeeper Omar Borg is also expected to rejoin the Spartans from Birkirkara after impressing during his loan spell with the former Malta champions.
Not much has been heard of Hibernians’ activity in the transfer market so far but the Paolites have been quietly endeavouring to refresh their squad after they finished in the Relegation Pool last season.
Reports suggest that Hibs have all but tied up deals with three Brazilian players. Luis Edison (Tarabai), who was on the books of Vittoriosa Stars last season, has agreed in principle to join Hibs on a one-year deal. He is likely to be joined by two fellow countrymen as Hibs have already applied for the international transfer certificate of defender Diego Douglas Balbinot, who last played for Hungarian club Nyiregyhaza Spartacus, and are in talks with a Brazilian forward by the name of Diaz.
The Paolites, who will begin their pre-season training next Friday under the guidance of coach Mark Miller, are also pursuing interest in Gareth Sciberras but they face strong competition from Birkirkara who are also tracking the 28-year-old Malta midfielder.
Marsaxlokk are still engaged in negotiations with the two clubs over Sciberras’s transfer.
The southseasiders this week named Winston Muscat as their new coach. Muscat, who was in charge of Vittoriosa Stars last season, is now working in earnest to finalise his squad selection for this season.
The departures of Alfred Effiong, who has switched to Valletta, and Rumen Galabov, who has joined Sliema Wanderers, have increased the likelihood that Marsaxlokk will have new foreign players this season.
Three Brazilian players arrived in Malta this week to start a trial with Qormi. The Premier League club had signed a pre-agreement with goalkeeper Thiago Leal but the latter changed his mind two days before he was due to fly to Malta.
Qormi have since made arrangements to bring another goalkeeper, Rodrigo Mineiro.
Division One club Naxxar Lions have signed former Vittoriosa defender Murillo Maccari and Brazilian midfielder Hallison Lima Figueira, who is the brother of Sliema playmaker Jackson Lima.
Msida St Joseph, who will play in Division Two this season, have appointed Anthony Dalli as coach. Dalli’s coming from a successful stint as coach of Valletta’s U-19 team.
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