Shopee Cup

KL City’s Paulo Josue relishing ASEAN Club Championship Shopee Cup™ challenge

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25 May 2024


Having found the back of the net in the 2-0 win against Johor Darul Ta’zim in the 2021 Malaysia Cup title clash that ended Kuala Lumpur City’s 32-year trophy drought and captained them to the finals of both the Malaysia FA Cup and AFC Cup, Paulo Josue is no stranger to tasting success in cup competitions.

But the Brazilian-born attacking midfielder believes the ASEAN Club Championship Shopee Cup™, the inaugural edition of which will see 12 of the leading clubs from Southeast Asia battle it out for the silverware, will provide an altogether new challenge as he enters his eighth season with the Malaysian club.

“It’s quite nice to see clubs from countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines play against each other. I think it’s very important to have this kind of a tournament and I hope the championship only gets better after each passing edition,” said Josue, speaking exclusively to ASEAN United FC.

“It’s great to have this tournament for our region so that we can have the feeling of going into these big international matches. It’s the only way we can develop better players and better club facilities. I think participating in this kind of a tournament will help better everything,” added 35-year-old Josue. 

KL City are one of the two Malaysian sides competing in the tournament alongside Terengganu FC and will begin their campaign in Group B alongside Thailand’s Buriram United FC, Vietnam’s Cong An Ha Noi FC, Indonesia’s Borneo FC, Kaya FC of the Philippines and Singapore’s Lion City Sailors. 

Group A, meanwhile, has Terengganu, Thai League 1 side BG Pathum United FC, Indonesia’s PSM Makassar, Vietnam’s Ðong A Thanh Hoa FC and two winners from the qualifying round play-offs which feature Young Elephants FC from Laos, Cambodia’s Svay Rieng FC, Kasuka FC of Brunei DS and Myanmar’s Shan United FC.

“There are some high-quality opponents in there. We know Buriram and Lion City are strong teams. Borneo have just become regular season champions. But we are also a tough team. I hope we keep doing our best in the domestic league and cups and get ready for the Shopee Cup and show everyone that we have a good team that is ready to face any kind of opponents,” the Kuala Lumpur skipper said.

Josue is hoping that the club’s cup expertise will help them put on a good show in the maiden edition of the annual club championship. “In the last three years, we have played three cup finals. So, I think we are a team that know how to manage the pressure during different match situations in such tournaments. If we can work together, we are very tough to beat and can get good results,” he said.

A good showing in the regional competition will be another step in the right direction for the capital city club who have already created waves both at domestic and continental level. “I can see the changes since joining in 2017. But the most important thing is that the club is willing to keep improving and moving forward,” Josue said.

Talking of changes, signing for the Malaysian Super League club seven years ago has “changed his life”, according to Josue. He now represents the Malaysia national team having obtained Malaysian citizenship last year. 

“Everything has changed for me and I am very grateful to KL City for having me here all this time. Now I can call myself fully Malaysian. It’s not just changed my life, but also my family’s. I can now spend the rest of my life in this country,” Josue added.

Photos: KL City FC