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Marcelina among four foreign players to sign new Ħamrun Spartans contract

Brazilian goalkeeper Celio, Matthias Ellul heading to Malta champions

Emerson Marcelina has agreed to prolong his stay at Ħamrun Spartans for two more years after putting pen to paper on a new contract, the Times of Malta can confirm.

The Brazilian defender, who has been a key member of the team that won back-to-back Premier League titles has agreed terms on a new deal and will again be part of the team for the next two seasons.

Sources have told the Times of Malta that the Brazilian defender had looked set to leave the Maltese Premier League after he received an approach from an Indonesian club.

Talks had reached an advanced stage with the Indonesian club but the player halted all negotiations when the Spartans’ top hierarchy convinced him to continue his career at the club.

Marcelina accepted the Spartans’ proposal of a new contract and will now continue to lead the side for the next two seasons.

The former Floriana defender is one of only four overseas players that have been reconfirmed by the Spartans this season.

In fact, the Spartans have also offered new contracts to midfield trio Roko Prsa, of Croatia, and Brazilian duo Elionay Freitas and Eder.

Marcelina, Prsa, Elionay and Eder have all start their pre-season preparations with the squad last week as the Reds got under way their preparations for this season’s commitments in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers.

On the other hand, goalkeepers Federico Marchetti and Cristian Winiston, defender Ognjen Bjelicic, midfielders Nemanja Krstic and Yulian Nenov and forwards Uros Duranovic and Seth Paintsil were not retained by the club.

Brazilian forward Jonny was offered a new contract but the speedy winger decided to continue his career abroad.

Coach Alessandro Zinnari has so far concluded a deal to sign defender Mayron after the Brazilian passed a medical test to put pen to paper on a one-year contract.

Added to that the Italian coach is looking to bring to the club three players from his former club Santa Lucia.

In fact, goalkeeper Francisco Celio da Paz has agreed terms to join the Malta champions and the Brazilian has also started pre-season training with the Malta champions.

The towering Brazilian will not be the only former Sta Lucia player to join the Spartans as Malta U-21 international Mattias Ellul is also set to sign a contract with the Malta champions.

Ellul, who was a regular member of the Malta U-19 side that played in the European Championship finals staged in Malta, has agreed to join his former coach at Ħamrun Spartans.

The talented defender was a regular member of Santa Lucia last season and is now looking forward to continuing his development with the ten-time Malta champions.

Meanwhile, the Spartans are expected to bring back to the club veteran Brazilian forward Marcelo Barbosa.

The 32-year-old prolific forward played for Ħamrun Spartans in season 2020-21, helping the team to win the title crown.

However, since then he returned to his club Nadur Youngsters and last season he played a key role in helping the club to be crowned Gozitan champions.

In fact, Barbosa finished as the leading scorer in the Gozitan league with 21 goals.

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