RCD Espanyol have made their fourth purchase of the close season by signing Alain Boghossian on a free transfer after the expiry of his contract with Parma AC.
Boghossian, an unused member of France's 23-man 2002 FIFA World Cup party, has signed a two-year contract and joins fellow new recruits Maximiliano Rodríguez (from CA Newell's Old Boys), Fredson Cámara (CA Paranaense), Xavi Roca (Villarreal CF) at the Olímpico de Barcelona stadium.
A 'serious club'
"I am happy to discover the Spanish league," Boghossian said. "In the last few years their football has gone ahead of Calcio [Italian football]. I am making a similar move as Zinedine Zidane, even though he plays for the best club in the world. Espanyol is a serious club with realistic ambitions. They are trying to build a competitive team."
"After eight years in Italy, this move will provide me with some new motivations, as things had become a bit monotone for me," Boghossian added. "The last season at Parma has been a bit difficult for me, but I will keep excellent memories of that club where I also met Lilian Thuram. The good thing about my move is that I will again be in a sunny and Mediterranean area. I will certainly not miss the humidity from Parma."
The Dinges-born Boghossian has been signed to fill the midfield position vacated by Paulo Sousa's premature retirement from the game. Boghossian, 31, reportedly turned down offers from London club Fulham FC and Torino Calcio in Italy in order to try his hand in Spain's Primera División for the first time.
Started at Marseille
An apprentice who signed professional terms with Olympique de Marseille, Boghossian left southern France for Serie A and SSC Napoli in 1994. After three successful season in Naples, he spent the 1997/98 campaign with Sampdoria UC prior to his move to Parma, with whom he won the 1999 UEFA Cup and two Coppa Italias.
World Cup winner
Boghossian appeared in the 1998 World Cup final in Paris as a second-half substitute for Christian Karembeu, but failed to make Roger Lemerre's final party which won the UEFA European Championship two years' later.
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