Greece captain Theodoros Zagorakis has signed a two-year contract with Italian side Bologna FC, who have also acquired the services of Fabio Petruzzi and Federico Giunti.
Zagorakis, who was named the UEFA EURO 2004™ official Player of the Tournament after helping his country beat Portugal in the final, becomes the latest Greek international to move to Serie A, joining the likes of Georgios Karagounis at Internazionale FC, Zisis Vryzas at AC Fiorentina, Traianos Dellas at AS Roma, along with recent arrivals Dimitrios Eleftheropoulos at FC Messina and Theofanis Katergiannakis at Cagliari Calcio.
The 32-year-old Zagorakis became a free agent earlier this week after being released by AEK Athens FC, following a four-year spell at the club. Zagorakis, who has been capped 94 times by his country, has previously played abroad in England, spending two-and-a-half years with Leicester City FC before moving to AEK in summer 2000.
World Cup aim
"Zagorakis is our Greek [Roberto] Baggio," said Bologna vice-president Tommaso Gazzoni Frascara. "The player told us that he wants to work hard in order to play at the 2006 World Cup. Well, we will help him as we did with Baggio ahead of the 1998 World Cup." Prior to those finals in France, Baggio scored 22 goals for Bologna and earned a return to the Italian national team.
Petruzzi and Giunti
Meanwhile, Bologna have also announced the signings of defender Petruzzi and midfield player Giunti from Brescia Calcio, with Austrian goalkeeper Alexander Manninger moving in the opposite direction on loan. The 32-year-old Giunti, who had spent 18 months on loan with Turkish side Besiktas JK, has signed a contract until 2006 while Petruzzi, 33, agreed a one-year contract.
Reunited with Mazzone
Both players have been capped once by Italy and will be reunited with Carlo Mazzone, their former coach at Brescia. During his career, Giunti also played for AC Perugia, AC Parma and AC Milan, while Petruzzi joined Brescia in 2001 after six seasons with AS Roma. Meanwhile, Manninger will hope for better fortunes at Brescia, as his chances at Bologna were limited by the presence of veteran goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca.
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