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Fernando Gago signs for Real Madrid

The Argentine says, 'I'm very excited by the thought of arriving at my dream club and hope to take Real Madrid to the highest possible levels in soccer'.

india Updated: Dec 22, 2006 21:53 IST

Fernando Gago signed for Real Madrid on Friday until 2013 after successfully passing a medical exam.

"We've signed one of the best midfielders in the world," said Madrid president Ramon Calderon at the official presentation of the 20-year-old Argentine at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

The former Boca Juniors midfielder cost the Spanish powerhouse euro20 million (US$26.3 million), according to the Argentine club. Gago signed a contract till 2013 in the presence of Calderon, honorary president and former star player - also born in Argentina - Alfredo Di Stefano and sports director Pedja Mijatovic, the club said in a statement.

"I am very excited by the thought of arriving at my dream club and of achieving great objectives," Gago said. "I'm going to help take Real Madrid to the highest possible levels, I have this idea of winning in European soccer and of continuing to add to the titles I won with Boca in Argentina."

On Thursday, Madrid unveiled Gonzalo Higuain, who completed a euro13 million (US$17.1 million) move from River Plate to Real Madrid when he signed a 6 1/2-year contract.

Gago and Higuain are two of three young South American soccer players Madrid has acquired for the January transfer window - costing a total euro39 million (US$51.3 million) - in an attempt to inject fresh blood into an aging team, which last won a major trophy in 2003

Last month, Madrid signed 18-year-old Brazil left-back Marcelo from Fluminense for a reported fee of euro6 million (US$7.9 million).

First Published: Dec 22, 2006 21:53 IST