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Jarni joins Panathinaikos

Panathinaikos FC boosted their UEFA Champions League hopes by signing Croatia's Robert Jarni.

Beats transfer deadline
Jarni, who has won 74 international caps, signed the deal late on Wednesday evening, 24 hours ahead of the registration deadline for UEFA's European club competitions. The 33-year-old said of the deal: "If both sides are satisfied we could make this a longer stay in Athens."

Ready 'in a week or two'
Jarni is hoping the transfer can revive his hopes of making Croatia's squad for the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals. However, he admitted he would need some time to regain match fitness after falling out of favour at Las Palmas, where he failed to make a single appearance this season. "Physically I am fit," he aid. "Although I have not been playing for a long period, I have trained alone. In a week or two I will be ready for matches."

Chances boosted
The full-back believes his move will help boost Panathinaikos's Greek title and UEFA Champions League chances. "I will help to win the title and qualify us for the next phase of the Champions League," said Jarni, who is eligible to play in the Greek side's remaining games in the competition. Panathinaikos are currently bottom of Group B in the second stage of the Champions League with one point from two games.

Key figure
Jarni was a key figure in the Croatia side that finished in third place in the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. The former Real Madrid CF player joins international team-mate Goran Vlaovic at Panathinaikos.