Barca signs Thuram and Zambrotta
The Spanish club will pay 14 mn euros for Zambrotta and five mn for Thuram.india Updated: Jul 22, 2006 15:50 IST
Defenders Lilian Thuram and Gianluca Zambrotta on Friday joined Spanish champions Barcelona on a two-year and four-year contract respectively from Juventus.
The Italian champions were relegated to the second division because of their role in the match-fixing scandal and Barcelona have now snapped up two top performers.
The Catalonian club said they would pay 14 million euros for Italian Zambrotta and five million for Thuram of France.
The players will join the team from August 1 when Barcelona will start a tour of Mexico and the United States. The Spanish championship does not start until August 27.
Previously, Iceland's Eidur Gudjohnsen had been Barcelona's sole pre-season recruit.
Barcelona added that they had bought two of the best players of the recent World Cup and indeed both played in the July 9 final won on penalties by Italy following a 1-1 draw after extra time.
The 34-year-old Thuram was not sure whether he would continue international football. "I'm just thinking about it at the moment," Thuram said. "I won't be playing for much longer -- two years I think."
The Spanish champions have added two great players to an already impressive defence, with Mexican Rafael Marquez and Spain's Carles Puyol as the central defensive pairing.
The loss of Thuram and Zambrotta was another blow to crisis-torn Juventus, who on Wednesday sold Italian defender Fabio Cannavaro and Brazilian midfielder Emerson to Spanish club Real Madrid.
Juventus have been forced to listen to offers for their star players after the Turin club were relegated to Serie B last week for their part in the scandals which have rocked Italian football.