SPORTS

Rivaldo joins Olympiakos

Former world player of the year Rivaldo yesterday signed a two-year deal with Olympiakos after passing obligatory medical tests. Contrary to initial reports a day earlier, the Brazilian, at his insistence, signed a two-plus-one year contract instead of the expected one-plus-one deal, for a reported 1.5 million euros per annum. «I chose the No. 5 jersey. The numbers 10 and 11 are my favorite, but they’ve already been taken by other players, and I respect them,» the 32-year-old Brazilian told reporters during his presentation. «I’m glad to be here… Nothing’s forbidden in soccer. Who thought Greece would win the European Cup, so why would we not manage with Olympiakos?» The 2002 World Cup winner said he was impressed by the new Karaiskaki Stadium which Olympiakos will use as its home ground once the Olympics Games conclude. Rivaldo, who was released by AC Milan last November, briefly joined Brazilian club Cruzeiro but quit in February and has not played professional soccer since. Several clubs, including English team Bolton Wanderers and Scottish champions Celtic, were reportedly also negotiating with the player. At Olympiakos, Rivaldo joins former Barcelona teammate Giovanni, a friend and compatriot, whom he cited as influencing his decision.