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Boavista hope £6.5m Claudio can be 'new Jardel'

Monday 13th May 2002

Boavista have signed prolific Brazilian forward Luiz Claudio in a bid to wrestle the Portuguese championship back from Sporting.

"He is a born goalscorer who could be one of the top players in Europe next season," claimed president Joao Loureiro, who hopes Claudio can give Boavista more muscle up front.

"This is a substantial investment for Boavista, but very reasonable for a club of our standing," he added.

"We have been watching Claudio for three years and only special circumstances have allowed us to get him now. But he is still one of our most expensive acquisitions."

Boavista have bought a 50 per cent stake in the striker, with the International Football Company, who belong to former Boavista star Flavio Almeida, holding the other half. They must pay another £6.5 million if they want to buy the player outright.

Claudio, 24, has agreed a five-year contract and becomes the eighth new face at Boavista for next season. The club believe he can do a similar job to countryman Mario Jardel, who shot Sporting to the title this season with over 40 goals.

"I'm happy as I have always wanted to play outside Brazil," he said. "I once scored 34 goals in a season for Internacional Porto Alegre and I can promise Boavista more of the same.

"I have come to be a champion and the top scorer in the league. I know how to play on the ground, but my best asset is my aerial strength. I take advantage of my stature.

"I have played in Mexico, but Boavista will be my first European team. We are in the Champions' League, which is positive. The club is talked about a lot in Brazil," added Claudio, a former Brazil Under-17 and Under-20 star.

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