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Christanval starts again with OM

Published: Friday 18 July 2003, 23.59CET
Olympique de Marseille have brought central defender Philippe Christanval back to French football.

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Published: Friday 18 July 2003, 23.59CET

Christanval starts again with OM

Olympique de Marseille have brought central defender Philippe Christanval back to French football.
Olympique de Marseille have brought Philippe Christanval back to France on a free transfer after two seasons with FC Barcelona.

High hopes
The French international defender, who has signed a four-year deal with the team that finished third in Ligue 1 last season, was tipped for big things at Barça but never quite lived up to expectations. He moved to Spain after helping AS Monaco FC win the French title in 1999/00.

European football
"I struggled a lot in Spain," said Christanval. "But I am happy to be part of Marseille's plans." The 25-year-old will have the chance of playing in the forthcoming UEFA Champions League rather than the UEFA Cup with Barcelona.

Great form
Christanval started his career with Monaco in 1997/98 and joined Barcelona ahead of the 2001/02 campaign, when he played 26 times. However, last season he managed just four league appearances and looked unlikely to reach the end of his contract, which ran until 2006.

Group stage goal
Christanval's replacement at Camp Nou will be his former Monaco team-mate Rafael Márquez. At Marseille, he will link up with Daniel Van Buyten, the Belgian international who has just pledged his future to the club. Both will aim to help Marseille overcome the third qualifying round tie that stands between them and the Champions League group stage.

Last updated: 20/07/03 0.15CET

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