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Home comforts tempt Alfonso

Published: Friday 5 July 2002, 14.31CET
Striker Alfonso Pérez had "no hesitation" in returning to Real Betis Balompié from FC Barcelona. features

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Published: Friday 5 July 2002, 14.31CET

Home comforts tempt Alfonso

Striker Alfonso Pérez had "no hesitation" in returning to Real Betis Balompié from FC Barcelona.

Real Betis Balompié today confirmed that they have signed Alfonso Pérez on a one-year loan from FC Barcelona with an option to buy the former Spanish international striker at the end of next season.

'Returning home'
"I am very happy to be returning to my home," the 29-year-old Alfonso said. "The Betis fans have always treated me brilliantly and when the chance to return came up I had absolutely no hesitation."

Started at Madrid
Alfonso, who has won 38 caps for Spain, started out at Real Madrid CF, but moved to Betis in 1995 where he played some of the best football of his career to date. He signed for Barcelona shortly after EURO 2000™, but never managed to hold down a regular place and dropped down the pecking order at the Catalan club after the arrival of young Argentinian striker Javier Saviola at the start of last season.

Skilful striker
Alfonso was loaned out to Olympique de Marseille midway through last season and it has since become clear that the skilful striker would not have featured in the plans of new Barça coach Louis van Gaal.

Last updated: 05/07/02 14.43CET

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