SPORTS

Croat midfielder Jarni signs for Panathinaikos

Croatian international midfielder Robert Jarni has revived his hopes of making the squad for the World Cup finals by signing a six-month contract with Panathinaikos. Jarni, 33, who has played 74 times for Croatia, has moved from Spanish side Las Palmas where he failed to make a single appearance this season after falling out of favor there. «I had other proposals but I didn’t sign with any club because I wanted a short-term contract,» he told newspaper SporTime. But Jarni believes his move will help boost Panathinaikos’s Greek title chances. «I will help to win the title and qualify us for the next phase of the Champions League,» he said confidently. Halfway through the 26-round Greek league, Panathinaikos is in fourth place with 24 points, four points behind leader Olympiakos and three points behind AEK. Only three rounds ago, Panathinaikos was trailing AEK by 12 points and Olympiakos by seven. The top two teams qualify for next season’s Champions League. This season, Panathinaikos is battling for a place in the Champions League quarter-finals. Jarni was a key figure on the Croatia side that finished in third place in the 1998 World Cup in France. The former Real Madrid player joins international teammate Goran Vlaovic at the Athens club. (Combined reports)