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Tuesday, 04 August 2009 07:34

Joao Paulo Andrade presented at Le Mans: “I’m glad to be here”

Defender admits Paulo Duarte factor in move

Joao Paulo Andrade completed his €1.5m euro move from FC Porto to French Ligue 1 side Le Mans last night, signing a three-year contract with the club.

Andrade, 28, spent last season on loan with Rapid Bucharest in Romania, but was deemed surplus to requirements on his return to the Dragao. Le Mans, coached by Andrade’s former Leiria team-mate Paulo Duarte, agreed terms for the transfer last week and the new recruit was presented to the media on Monday after completing medical examinations.

“I am very glad to have come to Le Mans,” Andrade said to the French press. “I have seen the city, which looks peaceful and pleasant; it is perfect for my family life. The facilities here are the best to work and develop as a player.

“To be honest, I did not know much about the club before coming here. Last year, I played in Romania, a country where the French league does not get much publicity. But when I received a call from Paulo Duarte asking me to come here, I immediately became enamoured with the idea.

“He is someone I have known a long time since we played together in Portugal. I’m keen to find out about the other players and about the championship.

Related article: Paulo Duarte takes charge at Le Mans

“I know that I am not in top condition at the moment. I could not train with Porto, so I am well behind the players here who have already been working for a month. I will not be ready for a few weeks, so my target for the near future is to work on getting back up to speed so I can return as quickly as possible to help the group.

“Ambitions for this season? When you ask a football player this question we often say we want to play as many games as we can. Therefore, this season I hope to get a lot of playing time. I came to Le Mans to move up a level, compete in the games and progress with the team.”

Related article: Joao Paulo Andrade set to sign for Le Mans

By Sean Gillen

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