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Shitembi Ready To Pack His Dancing Shoes

Petrus Ready To Pack His Dancing Shoes And Leave Sabah
Flying out: Sabah’s attacking midfielder Petrus Shitembi is being eyed by two east coast clubs. Looks like Petrus “Dancing Shoes” Shitembi will not be swaying to the Rhinos’ tune next season.

The Namibian international, who was offered an extension by Sabah, has decided to take his groove elsewhere. It is rumoured that the 28-year-old attacking midfielder is being eyed by two east coast clubs, with Terengganu being in the driver’s seat to sign the nimble-footed player.

“We wanted to keep him but we are also aware that other clubs have shown interest. He entertained the fans last season and was one of our key players. But if he wants to move on, we can’t stop him, ” said manager Jelius Ating. “We have however retained Dennis Buschening and Park Tae-su and we are looking to keep most of the local players.

“If possible, we would like to have all the Sabahans in the club, but if there are positions where we need players from outside the state, we will look into it.” Julius did not rule out tapping into the President and Youth Cup squads if any players fit into coach Lucas Kalang Laeng’s plans.

As for captain Rawilson Batuil, who is linked with a move to Selangor and PJ City, Jelius said the player has stated his intention to stay. “He wants to be with us and the management will work towards that. Also, Bobby Gonzales, who played with us in the past, has offered his services.

“Although he is in his 30s, I believe he will be a good example for the youngsters. “We hope we can reach an agreement with him soon.” Petrus Shitembi has not seen Diego Armando Maradona play, but the fallen Argentine icon inspired the Brave Warriors captain to pursue a football career, just as he did with millions the world over.

The legendary footballer (60) reportedly died of a heart attack on Wednesday. Shitembi was born in 1992, the year Maradona returned to competitive football with Sevilla after serving a doping ban.

His short stint in southern Spain is largely forgettable, but his legend is not. Such was the cult of the 20th century's greatest footballer that he commanded respect, despite being a cheat at a Fifa World Cup, a drug addict and hardly your conventional off-pitch role model.

Argentina, plunged into grief by the death of the country's favourite son, declared three days of national mourning with a million people expected to visit his casket. “Although I may not be of his era, what I have come to see and know about the late Maradona sparked a passion within me to pursue my footballing career,” said Shitembi in a tribute to the fallen football phenomenon.

Maradona's football genius and larger-than-life persona transcended cultural, ethnic and racial differences. He has God-like status at home, and was a beacon of inspiration for many far beyond Argentina, where he has a church in his honour.

The sublimely gifted Maradona wasn't just a sportsman, he was an icon, a political player and of course, a loveable rogue, the BBC wrote in a tribute. He died on the same date as his hero Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary leader he referred to as his second father.

One of the beautiful game's most gifted players, Maradona escaped the poverty of his youth to become a football superstar. “He was joy,” said NFA Women Super League chairperson Jackey Gertze. “One of the reasons I chose football over athletics. He is the reason I chose jersey No.10,” added ex-Brave Warriors midfielder and coach Ricardo Mannetti.

The Argentine football legend represented his nation on 91 occasions, scoring 34 goals, and famously guided La Albiceleste to the 1986 World Cup title in Mexico where he scored the famous 'Hand of God' goal against England in the quarter-finals. “I remember watching the 1986 World Cup; he showed the world how football should be played with a lot of passion and belief,” said Mannetti.

“My fondest memory has to be the goal he scored against England [during the 1986 Fifa World Cup]. He dribbled half the team and still managed to keep a cool head to score after using so much energy.” The Guardian's Marcela Moray Araujo described Maradona as having an almost superhuman ability to do with the ball what great artists do with a paintbrush, or composers with music.

Gertze, an elusive forward in her day, agrees. “Diego unquestionably had an influence on my football style of play. I spent a lot of time trying to master a skill as a footballer because there was so much joy, energy and wow in his style,” she said fondly.

“On the field of play, he remains unmatched, because he has achieved everything that exists in football by simply having fun with the ball. “Maradona has simply proven that football is joy. It's love, peace and harmony. It's entertainment, pride and brings a sense of belonging.” A life less ordinary, Maradona's brilliance on the pitch was matched by a chequered, chaotic lifestyle.

He has been admitted to hospital three times in the last 20 years for serious health issues – two of which were potentially fatal – due to his drug and alcohol addictions. He was banned three times for positive drug tests, and got a suspended jail sentence of two years and 10 months after shooting at journalists with an air rifle.

Despite all his troubles, Maradona's supporters never begrudged their idol. His fans around the world expressed their shock and deep sadness at his passing. “We lost a hero. He was out of this world. He was 95% pure instinct. You can't coach what he had. He had so much confidence, so much personality. He inspired self-belief in many of us,” said former Brave Warriors playmaker Congo Hindjou.

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