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Sunday, 24 April 2011 22:13

Title joy for Tonel in Croatia

Dinamo Zagreb retain crown

Former Portugal international Tonel is cebebrating winning the first championship of his career, after Dinamo Zagreb won their sixth consecutive Croatian title.

The capital club wrapped up the Prva HNL with four games to spare over the weekend, with Tonel earning a championship winners medal in his first season with his new team. The 31-year-old arrived from Sporting last summer, and has been a key member of Vahid Halihodzic’s title-winning side.

“It’s a feeling of great joy; it is the first time that I have been a champion,” Tonel told Maisfutebol. “I am very happy. It is not the same as being champion with Sporting, but I am very pleased.

“(To win with four games to spare) shows that we are the best team. But it was not easy; we had some tough matches. We have won many games 1-0. The winter is tough and the pitches are very difficult.”

Speaking about his new life in Zagreb, Tonel insists he is comfortable in his new surroundings, and is happy to stay with The Blues in the short term. “I can’t say that it’s been the life I had in Lisbon, but myself and my family are fine now. I had a very good season; I played in almost every game.

“When I leave I will come back to Portugal. I have another year-and-a-half on my contract. Whether I will complete it I don’t know, but for now I intend to continue here. I’ve always thought that I will only stay as long as I am happy. When I am not happy, I will knock on the president’s door. At the moment that is not the case.”

Asked about a potential return to the Portugal squad, the 2-time Seleccao international says he is not building up his hopes of getting a call from Paulo Bento. “It’s unlikely. The national team has many defenders: the two at Real Madrid (Pepe & Ricardo Carvalho); Bruno Alves; Rolando. It’s not easy. Of course I would like it, but it’s not something I’m thinking about every day. If it happens, then good.”

By Sean Gillen

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Comments (1)
Parabens Tonel
1 Monday, 25 April 2011 22:49
I can´t believe he was thrown away from SCP squad. I know our league is bad and far away from Liga ZON Sagres but he is better than Polga, Torsiglieri...and he played great in european matches and he is great as a player and as a person accoding to what I read in ours newpapers and other stuff.

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