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Club Brugge capture Alcaraz

Club Brugge KV have signed centre-back Antolin Alcaraz from Portuguese side SC Beira-Mar as they strengthen for a possible UEFA Cup campaign next season.

Club Brugge KV have signed 24-year-old central defender Antolin Alcaraz from Portuguese side SC Beira-Mar.

Fiorentina apprenticeship
The Paraguayan centre-back will move to Belgium in the summer having signed a three-year contract with the Bruges team. Discovered by ACF Fiorentina at the age of 18, he failed to make the grade in Serie A but developed into a strong defender after joining Beira-Mar in 2002 and has been the club's captain this season. He will become the third Paraguayan to play in the Belgian league.

'A step forward'
"Club Brugge is a step forward for me," he said. "I do not know much about the club, but I know they are usually among the top places in Belgium and that they regularly make a name for themselves in Europe. I hope to convince the club of my ability very quickly." Club Brugge are out of the running in the Belgian title race but could qualify for the UEFA Cup via the Belgian Cup. They face KAA Gent in the semi-final on 9 May, with the final scheduled for 26 May.