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Chelsea raid Benfica for Ramires

Brazilian international Ramires has left Portuguese champions SL Benfica for English counterparts Chelsea FC on a four-year deal. "He is a fantastic midfielder," said Carlo Ancelotti.

Ramires celebrates scoring for Benfica
Ramires celebrates scoring for Benfica ©Getty Images

Brazil midfielder Ramires has joined Chelsea FC in a reported €22m transfer from fellow UEFA Champions League contenders SL Benfica.

The Portuguese club confirmed last week that an agreement in principle had been reached, and the deal was officially completed on Friday after the 23-year-old penned a four-year contract at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti said: "He is a fantastic player, a fantastic midfielder. He is very young and will be the future of the Brazilian national team, and I hope he will be the future of Chelsea."

Ramires moved to the Estádio da Luz in a €7.5m switch from Cruzeiro EC last summer and went on to score four times in 26 league outings as Benfica reclaimed the Liga crown, adding the Portuguese League Cup for good measure. Capped 17 times, he made four appearances at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Chelsea, who have brought in Yossi Benayoun from Liverpool FC following the departure of midfield trio Joe Cole, Michael Ballack and Deco, also lifted two trophies last season: the Premier League and FA Cup. Both clubs will compete in the UEFA Champions League group stage.