Former FC Barcelona and Spain playmaker Josep Guardiola has rejoined Brescia Calcio less than seven months after leaving the club for Serie A rivals AS Roma.
The 32-year-old midfield player will train with his new team-mates this afternoon after agreeing to see out the rest of the season at the Mario Rigamonti. Guardiola is short on match fitness, having played just four times in Serie A for Roma this season and once in the UEFA Champions League, for 44 minutes.
The recent arrival of Oliver Dacourt at the Stadio Olimpico from Leeds United AFC placed another barrier between Guardiola and the Giallorossi first team, prompting the Catalan to return to Brescia. He made 12 appearances for the Lombardian club last season, a campaign disrupted by a four-month ban for nandrolone use.
Capped over 40 times by Spain, a knee injury eradicated any lingering doubt that he may make his country's 2002 FIFA World Cup, a harsh blow to a player who also sat out the 1998 World Cup through injury. Guardiola rose through the Barça youth ranks and stayed with the club for eleven years, winning the Primera División title six times and the European Champion Clubs' Cup once.
Brescia yesterday traded striker Simone De Nero, 21, for Palermo Calcio's former Brazilian youth international Fabio Bilica. The 24-year-old South American is currently playing his fifth consecutive season in Italy following his move to AC Venezia in 1998, the club he left for Palermo.
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