- Aug 7, 2003
Tuesday, 31 August 2004
Juventus FC have signed Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic from AFC Ajax for around €19m while also completing a deal for defender Fabio Cannavaro from FC Internazionale. The latter transfer is an exchange agreement which sends Uruguayan goalkeeper Fabian Carini in the opposite direction.
Scored against Italy
Ibrahimovic, who scored a memorable goal against Italy at UEFA EURO 2004™, arrives at the Stadio Delle Alpi for a reported €19m. The 22-year-old is understood to have signed a four-year contract, official confirmation of which will follow later today. Ibrahimovic scored 13 goals in 16 games to help Ajax win the Eredivisie title last season. He had joined the Amsterdam club from Malmö FF in 2001 for €7.8m and in 2002 hit the winning goal in the Dutch Cup final.
Juventus are acquiring a virtuouso talent, an example of which came on 22 August in a 6-2 victory over NAC Breda, when he dribbled past five NAC defenders and the goalkeeper to score. However, he had caused unrest in the Ajax squad after a couple of crude challenges on club colleagues during Sweden's friendly against the Netherlands earlier this month, one of which sidelined the Ajax captain Rafael van der Vaart with an ankle injury. Ironically, Juventus's first UEFA Champions League assignment is away to Ajax on 15 September.
Cannavaro's arrival in Turin was less of a surprise. The 30-year-old defender has agreed a three-year contract with the Bianconeri, which will pay him the €9m he would have collected in the two years left on his Inter deal. The San Siro club were prepared to lose the Italy captain having signed eight players this summer, including defenders Sinisa Mihajlovic and Nicolas Burdisso.
Parma old boys
Cannavaro made his Serie A debut as an SSC Napoli player against Juventus in 1993. He joined Parma FC in 1995/96 before moving to the San Siro in a €23m deal two years ago. At Juventus he will be reunited with his former Parma team-mates Gianluigi Buffon and Lilian Thuram.
"I'm sure that Thuram and Cannavaro will form a great defensive partnership again," Juventus coach Fabio Capello said. Meanwhile, the 24-year-old Carini has inked a four-year contract with Inter. The Uruguayan international transferred to Juventus in 2000/2001 but spent the last two seasons on loan at R. Standard de Liège in Belgium.