Valencia calls for Lazio duo

Valencia CF have signed Stefano Fiore and Bernardo Corradi from S.S. Lazio.

Spanish champions Valencia CF have started preparations for the defence of their Primera División crown with the signing of Italian internationals Stefano Fiore and Bernardo Corradi from S.S. Lazio.

Debt repaid
Fiore and Corradi arrive at the Mestalla in a €16.6m deal that effectively honours an outstanding debt between the two clubs. Lazio agreed to pay Valencia €41.8m for midfield player Gaizka Mendieta in July 2001, but only part of the fee changed hands.

Mendieta deal
Mendieta spent a year at the Stadio Olimpico before joining FC Barcelona on loan, and now plays in England with Middlesbrough FC. The transaction for Fiore and Corradi therefore includes the money owed by the Rome-based club for Mendieta.

Ranieri moves fast
Fiore had one year to run on his contract with Lazio, but needed little coaxing on receiving an offer from newly-appointed Valencia coach Claudio Ranieri. Prior to his switch from Udinese Calcio to Lazio in 2001, Fiore was a UEFA Cup winner with Parma AC in 1995 and has signed a three-year deal with the option of an extra year.

Eye for goal
Fiore, who has scored twice in 35 games for Italy, appeared in all three of the Azzurri's matches at UEFA EURO 2004™. The 29-year-old also scored three times over two legs in Lazio's Coppa Italia final victory against Juventus FC last season.

Double figures
Corradi, meawhile, will spend the next four seasons at the Mestalla. The 28-year-old striker, who first caught the eye at AC Chievo Verona after spells at a string of lower league clubs, started one match for Italy at UEFA EURO 2004™. He has scored 10 goals in each of the past two seasons with Lazio, where he has been a mainstay since his 2002 move from FC Internazionale.