Servette swoop for Karembeu

Swiss side Servette FC have signed former French international Christian Karembeu from Olympiacos CFP.

UEFA Cup contenders Servette FC have made their highest-profile summer signing with the recruitment of former French international Christian Karembeu from Olympiacos CFP.

Major honours
The 33-year-old defender or midfield player was part of the French team that won the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2000™. He has signed a three-year contract at Servette, having previously played for FC Nantes Atlantique, UC Sampdoria, Real Madrid CF - where he won the 1997/98 and 1999/00 UEFA Champions League titles - Middlesbrough FC and Olympiacos, who he joined in 2001.

Friendship with owner
Karembeu is close to ambitious Servette owner Marc Roger and admitted: "Friendship was the main factor in this transfer." Servette will begin their eleventh UEFA Cup campaign on Thursday when they visit Hungary's Újpesti TE for the first leg of their second qualifying round tie. However, Karembeu does not expect to be fit until the return in a fortnight, saying: "I need 15 days of personal training before being competitive"

Disappointing start
Servette earned their UEFA Cup chance by finishing third in the 2003/04 Swiss Super League, but with one draw and two defeats from their opening fixtures this season, the Geneva-based club lie bottom with the unusual total of minus two points as they have had three deducted for financial irregularities.