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Espanyol's Pochettino calls it quits

Published: Thursday 8 June 2006, 11.00CET
News round-up: RCD Espanyol defender Mauricio Pochettino is retiring while another 34-year-old, Manchester City FC striker Andrew Cole, will play on.

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Published: Thursday 8 June 2006, 11.00CET

Espanyol's Pochettino calls it quits

News round-up: RCD Espanyol defender Mauricio Pochettino is retiring while another 34-year-old, Manchester City FC striker Andrew Cole, will play on.

Former Argentinian international Mauricio Pochettino has brought his playing days to end, rescinding the last year of his contract with Primera División side RCD Espanyol. "I thought it was the best thing for me and the club," said the defender, who also represented CA Newell's Old Boys, Paris Saint-Germain FC and FC Girondins de Bordeaux. The 34-year-old was in his second stint at the Barcelona-based club with whom he won the Copa del Rey in 2000 and 2006.

Striker Andrew Cole has signed a one-year contract extension with Premiership side Manchester City FC despite being troubled by a persistent knee injury during his first season at the club. The 34-year-old, who shone in spells at Newcastle United FC and Manchester United FC, said: "I was pleased with how it was going before the injury, but that's the nature of football. To sign for another year, and have the chance to carry on playing, is very nice."

Ex-Italian international Giuseppe Giannini has signed a one-year contract to coach Romanian club FC 2005 Pitesti. The 41-year-old former AS Roma midfielder said: "I signed for just a year because I want to prove to everybody that I came here to achieve something, not for the money. If I do well, I will extend my contract."

KSK Beveren have appointed Walter Meeuws as coach, giving him responsibility from the senior team to the youth sides. The 54-year-old has signed a five-year contract and takes over from caretaker Eddy De Bolle, who replaced the sacked Vincent Dufour in March. Meeuws previously led K. Lierse SK and Gençlerbirligi SK in Turkey before coaching in north Africa and the Middle East.

Athletic Club Bilbao have reached an agreement to sign Josu Sarriegi from Deportivo Alavés on a four-year deal. The 27-year-old defender had two years remaining on his contract at the Mendizorroza but was keen to stay in the Primera División following Alavés's relegation. He had been a regular with Alavés since returning from a successful loan spell at SD Eibar in 2002/03.

Colombian international goalkeeper Oscar Córdoba has joined promoted Turkish side Antalyaspor on a one-year contract after leaving Beşiktaş JK at the end of the season. The 36-year-old said: "I have decided on Antalyaspor because Mustafa Doğan, my former Beşiktaş team-mate, persuaded me, despite the other offers I received." Córdoba spent four years with Beşiktaş, making 99 Superleague appearances.

SC Bastia goalkeper Nicolas Penneteau has signed a three-year deal with Ligue 1 newcomers Valenciennes FC. The 25-year-old former Under-21 international is quitting the Corsican club to become the third new face at the northern side, following the arrivals of Paris Saint-Germain FC striker Rudy Haddad and OGC Nice winger Sébastien Roudet.

Former Bulgarian international midfielder Ilian Iliev has taken over as coach of PFC Beroe Stara Zagora on a two-year contract. The 37-year-old replaces Beroe legend Petko Petkov who is expected to become a club director. Iliev was previously in charge of PFC Cherno More Varna, his first coaching post after a long playing career in Bulgaria, Portugal, Turkey and Greece.

Portuguese Liga newcomers SC Beira-Mar have unveiled midfielder Vasco Matos. The 25-year-old Sporting Clube de Portugal youth product arrives on a two-year contract from second division SC Olhanense.

Ivory Coast midfielder Abdoulaye Junior has joined Ukrainian side FC Metalurh Donetsk after leaving Belgium's Beveren. The 25-year-old has agreed a three-year contract with the club coached by Spaniard Ángel Alonso Herrera. Serbo-Montenegrin international midfielder Bojan Neziri has also returned to Metalurh after a season-long loan in Germany with VfL Wolfsburg. He has extended his Metalurh deal by three years, until 2010.

Three coaches have been dismissed in Kazakhstan with Andrey Vaganov being sacked at FC Ordabasy Shymkent while Russian Aleksandr Averyanov has left second-from-bottom FK Atyrau. Finally, FC Energetik Pavlodar have parted company with Yuriy Konkov.

Last updated: 08/06/06 20.12CET

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