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Simão Mate Junior (born 23 July 1988) is a football player from Mozambiquemarker currently playing as a defensive midfielder or a central defender for Panathinaikos FC.He is considered one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. He is incredibly good at marking.The young footballer went to Greecemarker in the summer of 2007, until then he played for Mozambique side Clube Ferroviário de Maputo. In which he joined at 2003. He underwent a two-weeks trial and eventually he signed a 4 year deal with Panathinaikos FC. Since then he has managed to surprise his coach and the team's fans with his solidness, strength and tenacity. Despite his young age, he has made some first-team appearances and has become a precious solution for his coach Henk Ten Cate.Although he was signed in order to play as a defender, circumstances and teammates' injuries made the team's coach to use Simão as a defensive midfielder, actually the player is established at fans' minds as a midfielder rather than a defender.

Simão has been particularly impressive in the minds of many Panathinaikos supporters which came as a surprise, given his relative anonymity and small transfer cost. His debut season was a great success; Simão made 27 first-team appearances. In his second season, he scored a superb volley in Panathinaikos' UEFA Champions League 3rd Round Qualifying match, away to Sparta Prague. He continued to impress domestically and in the Champions League proper, notably marking Diego and nullifying his attacks in Panathinaikos' 3-0 victory against Werder Bremen.

Simão was also included in Tuttosport's list of the top-rated 40 young footballers in the world, becoming the first player of Mozambiquemarker to achieve this accolade.

On 20 February 2009, Simão signed a new contract with Panathinaikos which included a higher release clause.Simão also is among the Top-10 Rising Stars for the UEFA Champions League Competition for the season 2008-2009.

References

  1. http://www.goalday.gr/article.asp?catid=10534&subid=2&tag=7738&pubid=1767885
  2. http://www.uefa.com/competitions/ucl/news/kind=1/newsid=806860.html


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