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Piiroja sets sail for Norway

Published: Friday 31 January 2003, 14.04CET
FC Flora Tallinn's Estonian defender Raio Piiroja has joined Vålerenga Fotball on loan.

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Published: Friday 31 January 2003, 14.04CET

Piiroja sets sail for Norway

FC Flora Tallinn's Estonian defender Raio Piiroja has joined Vålerenga Fotball on loan.

FC Flora's Estonian international defender Raio Piiroja has joined Vålerenga Fotball on loan.

Permanent option
The 23-year-old has opted to join one of Norway's strongest sides for the duration of the 2003 Norwegian season, with Vålerenga having the option of signing him on a permanent deal at the end of the campaign.

Transfer fee
Vålerenga have agreed to pay the Estonian side a €50,000 fee for Piiroja's services in 2003 and have pledged to pay a further €500,000 as a transfer fee if the highly-rated defender fulfils his potential in Norway.

'A great challenge'
"I am very happy to sign this deal and especially impressed that the club was interested despite [the fact] I am not fully fit yet," said Piiroja. "It is a great challenge and obviously will help my development, as well as making the national team even stronger. I hope to stay fit, improve my skills and earn a permanent deal or a further transfer to some other European club."

Estonian team-mate
The defender will join his international team-mate Kristen Viikmäe at the Oslo-based club after completing tests on Thursday which confirmed that he would recover from a knee injury sustained while training with Rosenborg BK.

European prospects
Piiroja will be eligible to play in his new side's UEFA Cup campaign in 2003/04 but will miss the first match in European club competition after being shown a red card while playing for Flora in a UEFA Champions League qualifying round game against Cypriot side APOEL Nicosia FC.

International pedigree
The Pärnu-born graduate of the Flora academy will move to Oslo as soon as he has been granted a work permit. He has been a regular for the national team since November 1998 and has collected 34 caps and scored three goals for Estonia.

Last updated: 02/02/12 3.44CET

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