Larsson moves to Barcelona

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Henrik Larsson completed his move to Barcelona, signing an initial one-year contract at the Nou Camp.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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A long time admirer of the club, Henrik Larsson put pen to paper and completed his move to Spanish giants Barcelona on Wednesday. The Swede, who recently returned to international duty in Euro 2004, has signed an initial one-year contract, but the deal includes an option to extend his stay for a second season. Larsson had spent seven seasons with Celtic in Scotland prior to his move to the Spanish Primera Liga. New Challenge The 32-year-old helped Celtic to four league titles during his time in Glasgow, but decided that he would like to finish his career elsewhere. Larsson, Europe's top scorer in 2001 with 35 goals, should provide the added firepower that Barcelona require as they look to build on last season's second place finish. A move to the Nou Camp represents a new challenge for Larsson, one of Europe's top strikers. "It's obviously very difficult to say, but I've always wanted to come here and play for Barcelona. If I didn't get the chance, it was looking more likely that I would move back to Sweden. But now I've got Barcelona and I'm very happy and it's a big challenge and that's the kind of challenge that I was wanting to have in order to be able to perform and be able to play well," said Larsson. "Well, you can see quite clearly it is another level, it is a lot more attention. Holland wasn't much, Scotland was even more, but this looks to be even more than the things I have experienced in the past. I'm fresh off the European championship where there was a lot of media attention as well. But that's all part of the game and that's the way it is," he added. "Well, you never know. I might continue until I am 40! But, I think this will be my last club on a high level and I'm very pleased that I can come here because it is a great football club to play for," held the champion striker. Rebuilding prgramme Larsson's arrival in Barcelona represents the latest step in a rebuilding programme that has been brought about by club President Joan Gaspart and Manager Frank Rijkaard. Juliano Belletti and Ludovic Giuly have already joined this summer from Villarreal and Monaco respectively and the next target on Rijkaard's wish list is the much sought after Portuguese playmaker Deco. Several of the club's stars - including Philip Cocu, Patrick Kluivert and Michael Reiziger - will be leaving the Nou Camp in order to accommodate these new signings, but with the outstanding Ronaldinho still under contract there are exciting times ahead for Barca. Larsson becomes only the second Swede to join Barcelona, following in the foot-steps of compatriot Patrick Andersson. It shouldn't take Larsson long to adapt to his new home ground though - he helped Celtic knock Barcelona out of last season's UEFA Cup with a 0-0 draw at the Nou Camp. Henrik may not be the last Larsson to grace the Nou Camp pitch though - his son Jordan showed the gathered media a trick or two after his father had paraded for cameramen. (AP)

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