Baptista joins Real Madrid

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:54 IST

Spanish giants Real Madrid presented new signing Julio Baptista to the media at their Santiago Bernabeu stadium in the Spanish capital on Monday.

Baptista joins Real Madrid
©

Madrid:

Spanish giants Real Madrid presented new signing Julio Baptista to the media at their Santiago Bernabeu stadium in the Spanish capital on Monday, having concluded a $24.2-million transfer deal with Sevilla. The 23-year-old Brazilian international striker has signed a five-year deal and will wear the number eight shirt for the nine-time European champions. Real beat off interest from English Premiership club Arsenal and Spanish archrivals Barcelona to sign the highly-rated Baptista, who scored 38 league goals in two seasons with his former club. Baptista burst onto the Spanish football scene in 2003, having arrived from Sao Paulo for a relatively modest $2.3-million and was transformed under Sevilla coach Joaquin Caparros into a player nicknamed 'La Bestia' - 'The Beast'. Baptista attracted the attention of several clubs around Europe, notably Arsenal of the English Premier League, but with the Brazilian qualifying for a Spanish passport in a year's time, he did not want to move to London. Baptista also said that Real were the only team that interested him, a snub to Barcelona that has already endeared him to the Bernabeu faithful. Now Baptista will wear the number eight shirt for Real Madrid and will be joined at the end of the month by international colleague Robinho from Santos for another $30-million outlay. (AP)

Topics : Football Real Madrid
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