Nicknamed 'Dr Mo' for his ability to resolve all his team's problems, pocket-sized Portuguese midfielder Almami Moreira says FK Partizan's European ambitions have convinced him to commit himself to the club until 2012.
Already confirmed as Superliga league champions, Partizan could crown a great season with a Serbian Cup success when they meet second division FK Sevojno in the final on 20 May. However, even completing a second successive domestic double could not match the sort of celebrations that greeted the announcement of the 30-year-old Moreira signing a new three-year contract with the club.
The Guinea-Bissau-born playmaker has been a star in Belgrade since joining the club in 2007 having previously turned out for the likes of Boavista FC, R. Standard de Liège, Hamburger SV and FC Dinamo Moskva. "Our relationship will continue; we are a happy family," he said, adding: "Finally, I have found peace. Three trophies already and a fourth so near mean so much. Those are the first trophies of my career and I am happy like a child."
His 15 goals in 52 league games to date have included plenty of crucial ones – not least the equaliser four minutes into added time in the 1-1 draw against arch-rivals FK Crvena Zvezda in the first game of the spring – and he is enjoying life in Serbia, saying: "I love Belgrade, this club, this lifestyle and I have a great relationship with the supporters − we have the same dreams."
That fact was demonstrated when a fan announced that, should his wife bear him a son, he would name the child Almami. Moreira was tickled pink. "I am delighted by the Partizan supporters and very proud of my nickname," he said. "As for the baby, if they name a child after me I will be very proud. It will be something phenomenal to know that one Serbian kid has my first name."
A few more may have his name in years to come if Moreira fulfils his dream of success in Europe with Partizan, and he had serious discussions with sporting director Ivan Tomić about the club's continental ambitions before signing his new deal. "We want to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, but for that we need quality players," he said. "Tomić told me that the club wants the same as me and will be stronger. Defending the domestic titles is our priority but success in Europe means so much for me."
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