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Simic crosses San Siro divide

Published: Monday 1 July 2002, 11.58CET
Internazionale FC have swapped Dario Simic for Milan AC's Ümit Davala.

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Published: Monday 1 July 2002, 11.58CET

Simic crosses San Siro divide

Internazionale FC have swapped Dario Simic for Milan AC's Ümit Davala.

Croatia defender Dario Simic has become the latest player to cross the San Siro divide after switching from Internazionale FC to Milan AC as part of a move which sees Ümit Davala moving in the opposite direction, although the Turkish international will spend next season on loan at Galatasaray SK.

World Cup action
Both players were recently in FIFA World Cup action, Ümit somewhat more successfully as he was an inspirational figure as Turkey finished in third place, scoring the only goal against Japan in round two before setting up Ilhan Mansiz for a 'golden goal' against Senegal in the quarter-finals. Simic's Croatia were eliminated at the first hurdle as in-fighting overshadowed their bid for glory at Korea/Japan.

Class forward lines
A key reason for Simic swapping San Siro clubs was that he would no longer have to face Andriy Shevchenko and Filippo Inzaghi in competition action - ingoring the fact that he will instead line up against Ronaldo and Christian Vieri. The Inter duo scored 12 goals between them in the Far East, Ronaldo's eight strikes securing him the Golden Boot.

'Thinking about Ronaldo'
"It is better to play with Inzaghi and Shevchenko than against them,'' Simic said. "I will be thinking about Vieri and Ronaldo later on. Against Shevchenko and Inzaghi I have had some bad moments in the past, it is a good job they are now my team-mates."

Champions League qualifying
Both Milan clubs are in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, while Ümit's return to the Ali Sami Yen stadium will see him enter the competition at the first group stage. Ümit was signed by Fatih Terim and initially impressed but struggled with injury and a loss of form when Milan's Turkish coach was fired to make way for Carlo Ancelotti. The two will be re-united in Istanbul after Terim returned to Galatasaray last month.

More swap deals
Meanwhile, Inter have also agreed a deal with Parma AC to swap Slovakian defender Vratislav Gresko for Matias Almeyda, who represented Argentina in the World Cup. The clubs have not confirmed whether a fee is involved. AS Roma's Sebastiano Siviglia will also play for Parma next term after the Ennio Tardini stadium outfit swapped him for Luigi Sartor.

Last updated: 01/07/02 16.14CET

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