Amaral begins Fiorentina exodus

Besiktas JK have signed Amaral from AC Fiorentina following the Italian side's financial woes.

Turkish side Besiktas JK have signed Brazilian Amaral from AC Fiorentina after the Italian side's financial woes saw them refused a place in Serie B.

Player exodus
Amaral starts the exodus of players from Fiorentina, whose entire staff have now become free agents. He has signed a two-year-contract under which he will be paid per match, linking up with compatriot Zago, who has joined Beskitas from AS Roma.

Wide experience
The midfield player, whose career began with SE Palmeiras, first moved to Italy in 1996 with Parma AC, but failed to make an impact and later joined SL Benfica before returning to Brazil. After spells with Palmeiras, SP Corinthians and CR Vasco de Gama he came back to Europe with Fiorentina in 2000.

Praise for fans
Besiktas introduced Amaral, capped 13 times by Brazil, to their fans at their traditional pre-season opening ceremony. Amaral told the crowd: "I have never seen such passionate fans anywhere." Club president Serdal Bilgili added: "Although there were a lot of offers Amaral chose us thanks to his friend Zago and our coach [Mircea] Lucescu."

UEFA Cup campaign
Meanwhile, Besiktas have cancelled the contract of Romanian striker Radu Niculescu only two weeks after signing him as he was surplus to needs with the arrival of Amaral. Besiktas, third in the Turkish first division last season, will enter the 2002/03 UEFA Cup at the first round stage.

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