Francisco Rufete has ended a five-season stay at Valencia CF for a fresh challenge at Copa del Rey winners RCD Espanyol.
Capped three times by Spain, the 29-year-old midfielder moves on a free transfer and will have a three-year contract with the Barcelona-based club. Rufete won the Spanish title and the UEFA Cup in 2003/04 and played 131 league games at the Mestalla, but made just nine starts under Quique Sánchez Flores last term.
'Words of praise'
He said: "I am leaving Valencia because the coach isn't counting on me for his team. I only have words of praise for the fans and the people of Valencia. I have grown as a person and as a player at the club." Rufete, Espanyol's third summer signing after defender Jesús María Lacruz and midfielder Moha, had 12 months remaining on his deal with Valencia who are also poised to loan defender Marco Caneira to Sporting Clube de Portugal.
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