Polish champions Legia Warszawa have signed FK Cukaricki captain Rudi Gusnic ahead of their potential UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie against FC Barcelona.
Legia hold a two-goal advantage over FK Vardar following their 3-1 second qualifying first-leg win in F.Y.R. Macedonia last week. The winners of the two-legged encounter will face the Spanish giants for a place in the first group stage of the competition.
The 31-year-old Yugoslavian defender has signed a two-year contract with the club coached by Dragomir Okuka, who was also coach of Cukaricki between 1995 and 2000. Gusnic played for Cukaricki for 12 years and, following Okuka's arrival in Belgrade, was moved from midfield to defence and given the club's captaincy.
"I needed a fast right-sided defender for the forthcoming matches against Barcelona," Okuka said. "I thought Gusnic was the best solution as I have worked with him before. I know his qualities and I know that he will immediately have a place in the starting eleven. I am not sure that we can overcome an obstacle such as Barcelona, but I am sure we will prevent them from scoring many goals with Gusnic in defence."
Gusnic was delighted to have completed his move and is looking forward to playing his part in Legia's Champions League campaign. "I am very happy to have won the confidence of my former coach," he said. "I am moving to a club who are determined to play in the Champions League from a club who are facing relegation each season. I will do everything in my power to help them achieve the desired miracle."
Since his arrival in Poland, Okuka has already given chances to two Yugoslavian players. Stanko Svitlica, who scored in the victory over Vardar, and Aleksander Vukovic are both hoping for success at the Wojska Polskiego stadium.
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