Brazilian Julio Cesar joins Olympiakos lineup

Brazilian defender Julio Cesar has joined Olympiakos on a three-year contract, the Greek club announced yesterday. No financial details were released for the 27-year-old player but local media said Mexican club Tigres reportedly received 1.1 million euros, and his salary will be 700,000 euros. Cesar will play alongside 34-year-old former Brazil forward Rivaldo, who has announced plans to return to Brazil at the end of the upcoming season to end his career there. Cesar, who has also played for Real Madrid and AC Milan, is scheduled to join his new teammates today in Austria, where the Greek defending league and cup champion is currently based for the pre-season. «I know that Olympiakos is the leading Greek team and I will do my best for my new team,» Cesar told reporters. The new Brazilian signing said that he had spoken to Rivaldo about conditions at Olympiakos a couple of days earlier. Rivaldo, Cesar said, gave a very favorable description of conditions at the Greek club. In comments about Olympiakos’s new signing, coach Trond Sollied described Cesar as a player of quality and experience. «He is a player with plenty of quality, which we definitely need. He is also experienced in Europe, as he has played in leading top competitions and teams, such as Real Madrid,» Sollied said. Meanwhile, Greek first-division club Larissa’s hopes of a UEFA Cup berth in the upcoming season ended Saturday following a 2-0 away loss against Turkey’s Kayseripor. The clubs had drawn 0-0 in the first leg of their third-round encounter in the Intertoto Cup, which leads to the UEFA Cup. Cypriot team Ethnikos Achnas advanced to the next stage despite a 3-2 loss at home against Maccabi Petah Tikva. A 2-0 first-leg win in Israel gave the Cypriots a 4-3 aggregate.