Aruna Quadri Assists Sporting To Win 37th Title In Portugal
It was an emotional ending for Quadri Aruna during the final of the Portuguese national league final as the Nigerian played his last match for Sporting and contributed to winning the 37th title.
Sporting CP won their fifth championship trophy in a row after beating GD Toledos 3-0 in the 2nd leg of the final held at the High-Performance Center of Vila Nova de Gaia, after repeating the same margin in the first leg on Saturday, July 4.
The top player in Africa who joined the team in 2016 from GD Toledos was the cynosure of all eyes as fans and players hailed the Nigerian for his immense contribution to the team.
To win the fifth league title with Sporting, Quadri was full of appreciation to the team that he admitted has helped his career to glow.
From the 18 league matches played this season, Sporting were unbeaten dropping only five sets in all their matches to attain 70 points which are 22 more than second-placed GD Toledos.
A delighted Aruna who will be moving to Germany next season described Portugal as a home away from home.
“After ten years in Portugal, it was time to leave for a championship with another level. I was very happy here, Portugal for me is almost the same as Nigeria and I will continue to live in Portugal because I have a family here. I will train a few times at Sporting for the year,” he said.
For the final match against his former club, he said: “It was a very difficult game particularly against my former team and mate, Diogo Silva, who is a player with a lot of talent. We played together for four years and it is always difficult to play against him.”
His compatriot, Bode Abiodun admits that it was a difficult match having returned to the game after several weeks of inactivity.
Abiodun said: “It was a very difficult game, but I am very satisfied with the victory and with another title, which was the main objective of the season.”
Portuguese international, Diogo Carvalho also spoke about the tie saying, “We managed to win another title for Sporting, which was our goal. The match with Énio was very tactical because we know each other well, we played together for six years in Spain, so we know each other’s game.”
The coach of Sporting, Chen CP Shao, lauded the players.
She noted: “This Championship final was complicated, with a long stop and now without the public at the stands. The players managed to show some quality, despite having been out for four months.”
For the President of Portugal Table Tennis Federation, Pedro Miguel Moura ending the league was a big achievement for the federation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.