Interview with Stefano Conforti, editor in russianfootballnews.com about Hugo Almeida, the latest transfer for AEK Athens. Stefano Conforti told us how he believes that,  although he wasn’t good enough with Anzi and Kuban some months ago, H. Almeida could make the difference for his new team.

Hugo Almeida played for both Kuban and Anzhi. How would you rate his performances in that time?

Hugo Almeida was disappointing for both Anzhi and Kuban. The Portuguese striker was rarely decisive during matches. They hoped to sign a world-class forward, but in the end he didn’t manage to turn out to a key-player in Russia. Only Kuban fans may have a sweet memory of him as Almeida scored the 1-0 goal in the Russian Cup semifinal vs CSKA that sent them to the final vs Lokomotiv.

Why do you think he couldn’t repeat the impressive seasons he had at Werder Bremen and Besiktas?

Because I think that he needs a team that plays for him and tries to exploit all his qualities such as aerial duels and long shots. Furthermore, in Besiktas he had a great understanding with current Lokomotiv midfielder Manuel Fernandes. As the time has gone by, his pace has lowered and also his motivations. Maybe, he also moved to Russia for money.

Even though he didn’t score many goals he was a starter at both of them. What does he offer to his teams except of goals that makes him so important?

Almeida was not a starter at both Anzhi and Kuban. The former mainly relied on Boli, while the latter on Baldè. However, the Portuguese striker had his chances and because his experience, he was a often used replacement.

Which are his strengths and weaknesses?

He’s a team player and a well-known striker. He’s very physically strong and with a great shot. I think that if AEK use him well, he could turn out in a not-so-bad bargain for the Greek team.

Do you think he still has what it takes to make the difference for AEK? In the championship and in Europa League qualifiers against Saint Ettiene?

It depends on his motivations. If he’s in AEK for money, he won’t do anything good. Otherwise, he could be a good reinforcement who may take advantage from his international experience to help the team to play in the Europa League. He could make the difference also in the Greek league as his physical skills can’t go unnoticed.

 

 

*Editors: Kostas Papantoniou and Kostas Chatsianidis

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