SPORTS

Soccer’s big three announce more deals

Democratic Republic of Congo striker Lomana LuaLua has completed his move from English Premier League side Portsmouth to Olympiakos. The Piraeus Super League club confirmed the deal on its website and said LuaLua had signed a three-year contract. No further details have been published. Reports in the Greek media suggest that Portsmouth will earn around 3 million euros but, according to the British press, the fee is 2.8 million pounds, or approximately 4.1 million euros. The striker is expected to earn around 1 million euros a year at the Greek champions. «Lua wants to move on. I’ve no doubt he’ll be a great player for Olympiakos,» Harry Redknapp, the Portsmouth manager, told the BBC. «He will get to play in the Champions League by moving to Greece. He has been a top Premier League player and he’ll be a top player for them.» The 26-year-old began his career with Colchester United before moving to Newcastle United in 2000. He played 59 games for the Magpies before heading to Portsmouth in 2004 for whom he has scored 19 goals in 91 games. «He provides us with a very good solution which we have been examining for a long time,» Olympiakos coach Takis Lemonis told sports daily Sportime. Olympiakos is also reported to be looking closely at the possibility of signing former Glasgow Rangers center-back Sotiris Kyrgiakos. The 27-year-old Greece international currently plays for Eintracht Frankfurt and spent several years at Olympiakos’s archrivals Panathinaikos. Over the weekend, Panathinaikos announced the return to the Athens club of left-back Takis Fyssas, a member of the Greek national team that was crowned European champion in 2004. Fyssas, 34, signed a one-year contract on Saturday. After spending five years with Panathinaikos, the attacking left-back moved to Benfica in 2003 for two seasons before switching to Scottish club Hearts for a further two seasons between 2005 and 2007. Fyssas helped the Scottish side win the 2005-2006 Scottish Cup final. «I feel like I’m returning home and am particularly happy that Panathinaikos acknowledged my contribution and professionalism and approached me,» said Fyssas. Following lengthy negotiations, AEK announced its acquisition of Ismael Blanco, last season’s top scorer in Argentina’s second division with Olimpo, where he was on loan from top-tier team Colon de Santa Fe. The 24-year old Argentine striker passed his medical exam and signed a four-year contrcat, the Athens club announced. AEK, which ended second in last season’s Super League, did not give financial details, but local press has reported that the transfer will cost AEK 1.1 million euros and the player’s annual salary will be 1.2 million euros. AEK travels to Sevilla on Wednesday for the first leg of the third qualifying round of the Champions League for a place in the competition’s group stage. The two clubs meet for the return leg a fortnight later in Athens. On Saturday, Sevilla defeated Real Madrid 1-0 at home in the first leg of the Spanish Supercup, contested by the Spanish league and cup champions of the previous season. Luis Fabiano scored for Sevilla in the 28th minute from the penalty spot. Fabiano drove his shoulder-high penalty shot into the left side of net as goalkeeper Iker Casillas dived the other way a minute after Madrid defender Sergio Ramos was penalized for bringing down forward Duda. Sevilla, which has never won the Supercup, will travel to Madrid for next Sunday’s second leg of the annual competition. Sevilla, last season’s cup winner in Spain, was a contender for the league title until the very last round of play. Sevilla has won all four cup finals its played in over the past two seasons, having successfully defended its UEFA Cup title, beaten FC Barcelona in the European Supercup and won the Copa del Rey against Getafe in June. It had won only four trophies in its history before then, all prior to 1948. Madrid, which won a record 30th league title in June, played its first competitive match without David Beckham, who was on the field when Madrid won its seventh Supercup four years ago. (Reuters/AP/Kathimerini)