Taiwan international soccer player Emilio Estevez has signed for Dutch side ADO Den Haag for an undisclosed fee, his side York9 announced on Tuesday, making the 21-year-old midfielder the first Canadian Premier League (CPL) player to sign for a top-flight European side.
“I’m super happy. It’s something that I wasn’t expecting, to be honest,” Estevez told the CPL Web site. “It’s something that really caught me off-guard, but it feels good to be able to make a little bit of history and leave my mark in the CPL, and show players that anything is possible — that if you work hard and put your mind to it that you can attract big teams in Europe.”
Estevez, eligible for Taiwan through his mother, was first called up to the international squad in February last year.
Photo: Huang Chih-yuan, Taipei Times
He made his international debut in October last year in a 7-1 loss to Australia in FIFA World Cup qualifying, before earning two more caps against Kuwait and Jordan.
Born in Toronto to a Spanish father and Taiwanese mother, Estevez’s name has nothing to do with the famous Hollywood actor — his father named him after former Spain and Real Madrid striker Emilio Butragueno.
Having had trials at Spanish side Levante UD and Queens Park Rangers in England, Estevez signed for York9 and played 18 matches in the inaugural CPL season.
“It’s fantastic to get a player sold to a top tier of any division around the world, but somewhere as prestigious as the Eredivisie, it’s a fantastic opportunity for Emilio, and it shows that the CPL is on the radar of clubs all around the world at the very highest levels,” York9 managing consultant Angus McNab told the CPL Web site.
“Coming from trials two years ago and now going to Europe is obviously a huge thrill for me,” Estevez said.
“I learned so much and owe a lot to the coaching staff at York9, who believed in me and gave me a shot. Now I’m going to one of the biggest footballing countries in the world and I’m incredibly excited,” he added.
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