The best foreigner in the past several seasons shocked the Vardar fans after completing a move to fierce rivals Shkendija.
photo by KF Shkendija Tetovo: Juan Felipe poses with his new top
Brazilian attacking midfielder Juan Felipe Alves Ribeiro is new player of Shkendija. The 31-year-old officially joined the Red&Black Tetovo based team after signing a contract yesterday. He will wear the same colors, but he will share his joy with different fans. Felipe signed on one year with a possibility for adding another if both sides are satisfied. Problem is his age, he will be 32 in December and is not anymore that young Brazilian that was making the difference at Vardar. He is still more than good for the Macedonian top flight, but Shkendija really needs someone who can do miracle in the Champions League qualifiers.
Felipe came to Vardar in the summer of 2015 from Bulgarian side CSKA and immediately claimed a leading role. Won the top flight twice in 2015/16 and 2016/17 adding a Super Cup title in 2015 as well. The fans will always remmeber the masterpeace goal against Rosenborg away in the Europa League group stage. That goal puts Felipe as scorer of the first group stage goal in any European competition for a Macedonian club. For Vardar he played a total of 129 matches including league, cup and international games and scored 31 goals. He added around 30 assists.
Vardar’s financial problems are the reason for his move. He did leave Vardar once already when in later March last year moved to Kazakh’s side Kairat, but came back this February only to leave again now. Felipe won’t be able to help Shkendija in the first tie against Estonian side Kalju, but if the advance he could play from the next round.
Felipe played against Shkendija many times and also scored goals against his new club. In his first interview as a Shkendija player he praised the atmosphere at the Gradski stadium in Tetovo: “I have played so much football here in Macedonia and always when I came here in Tetovo to play against Shkendija I felt great vibrations from the public. That’s why I like them, they are great, they are always very good at keeping the team at a high moral all the time. That’s what I liked and now I expect to be part of this. I’m here to give my best.”