The Slovenia Times

Brazilian Tavares makes Slovenian football history


"I cannot score many goals by myself. This is the result of working with the team, with the coach, the director and the fans. Even Jesus has helped me survive here," Tavares said.

The Brazilian native switched to Slovenia's most successful club from the Cypriot side Apoel in January 2008 and went on to become the absolute home crowd favourite.

He has won seven championships and four cup titles with Maribor, and he played the group stage of the Champions League twice.

He has scored 25 goals in European competitions but is yet to score in the Champions League. He said his desire was to change that at Wednesday's game against the Spanish side Sevilla, Maribor's last Champions League game of the season.

The 33-year-old became a Slovenian citizen four years ago and plans to remain in Maribor with his wife and five children after the end of his professional career.

"I come from a Brazilian favella and everything I have experienced here is beyond what I ever expected. I had never though I would have such a career," he said.

Coach Darko Milanič says Tavares is "really special". "I don't mean just his scoring, you can establish a relationship with him that just takes you onwards," he said.


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