East Timor captain considers transfer to Australia

Alfredo Esteves, the football captain of Timor Leste (East Timor), the troubled young South East Asian nation, is currently vacationing with family in Melbourne, Australia and receiving inquiries from Australian football clubs. On the third year of a four-year deal in the United States with USL first division club Minnesota, he received wide publicity last year through the Asian Football Confederation for his starring role in Thunder’s 4-1 victory over Miami FC, a team which boasted Brazilian stars Romario and Zinho.

According to his Portugal-based brother and manager, Nuno Mousinho-Esteves, Alfredo is considering a transfer to the South East Asian - Australian region so he can be closer to his homeland. He captained East Timor's squad in the 2004 ASEAN Football Championship (Tiger Cup) but funds were not available to bring him back from the USA for the prequalifying rounds East Timor had to play in 2006.

"If Alfredo can move back, the importance this can have for East Timor is vital," Nuno told Asian Football Business Review. "Potentially its commercial and symbolic value will be enormous for East Timor people, especially the youth," he said.

Alfredo is scheduled to join football legends and UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane in an all-star line-up for the fourth Match Against Poverty on 19 March 2007 at the Stade du Vélodrome in Marseille, France. The match will focus attention on the Millennium Development Goals, re-affirmed by the leaders of 191 countries at the UN Summit in 2005, which seek to halve world poverty by 2015 by setting targets for rolling back hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women.

Unless transfers have been arranged by that time Alfredo will return to Minnesota on 20 March to resume his professional career with the Thunder.