Brazil midfield player Diego has left Santos FC to sign a five-year contract with European champions FC Porto.
The 19-year-old heads to Portugal fresh from his exploits at the Copa América, where he helped his country to the title by scoring in Sunday night's 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory against Argentina, following a 2-2 draw. Diego has been a regular for Brazil at various youth levels and had been established in the Santos first team since 2002, when he won a Brazilian championship medal.
"I would only leave Santos for a big club," Diego said. "FC Porto seems a wonderful opportunity to fulfil my dream of playing in Europe." However, the player was keen to point out he is not necessarily a direct replacement for Deco, who has left Porto for FC Barcelona.
He explained: "I cannot choose where I am going to play. At Santos, I usually operated as a playmaker, but leaning slightly towards the left, in a position that allowed me to go forward and make use of my powerful shot. In the national team I play more on the right side. But if I have to play in the same position as Deco, it will not be a problem."