China AFC Champions League

Shanghai SIPG captain Hulk gears up for clash against former side Kawasaki Frontale

Shanghai SIPG captain Hulk has geared up for the clash against his former team Kawasaki Frontale in the 2018 AFC Champions League on Wednesday.

Before rising to stardom with Porto and Zenit Saint Petersburg, Hulk started his professional career in Japan by playing J-League outfit Kawasaki Frontale from 2005 to 2008.

As fate would have it, both Kawasaki and Shanghai SIPG were drawn in Group F of this year’s AFC Champions League.

Hulk and his side earned a narrow 1-0 win over the Japanese champions in their 2018 AFC Champions League Group F opener in February.

“Today, after 13 years, I step again on the pitch of Todoroki Stadium not to play for, but to play against Kawasaki Frontale. Today I’m playing for Shanghai SIPG from China. I’ll get the chance to play against my old teammates that welcomed me so good in 2005 when I was just starting my career as a professional football player,” the Brazilian striker said, as quoted by AFC.

“Today when I have already accomplished some of my professional goals and with way more experience. Here in my hotel room, preparing for the match, I start reflecting and wondering how God is marvellous!! He can give us wonderful moments!!”

On the other hand, Hulk sent some grateful thoughts towards his former club.

“I’m really grateful for [having played in] Japan. I grew up, not only as a footballer, but also in life. Differently for my arrival in China, I arrived experienced, 30-years-old, professionally fulfilled and with family stability. I came experienced so everything came easier.”

Shanghai SIPG have already confirmed their place in the last 16 with the top position of Group F. Meanwhile, Kawasaki, currently in the third post, must gain all three points to keep their campaign alive