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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ROME, April 20 (Reuters)(DS) - Italian Serie A soccer club Lazio
on Thursday denied reports they had signed Barcelona's Brazilian
striker Rivaldo for 99 billion lire ($48 million).
"There is no basis to the reports. Neither President Sergio
Cragnotti, nor other officials, have ever had meetings or
contacts with the Catalan club regarding the transfer of
Rivaldo," Lazio said in a statement.
It also denied there had been talks to swap Rivaldo, the
World and European player of the year, for another player.
Gazzetta dello Sport reported earlier that Cragnotti had
sealed the deal but agreed not to make it public immediately.
"It is probable that Barcelona will deny it today but by now
it's a done deal," the paper said.
It added that Lazio would be selling several players to help
finance the purchase, including Croatian striker Alen Boksic,
Chilean striker Marcelo Salas, Argentine midfielder Matias
Almeyda and Yugoslav midfielder Dejan Stankovic.
Rivaldo helped Barcelona to a thrilling 5-1 victory over
Chelsea and a place in the Champions League semifinals this week
with two goals, including a penalty in extra time.
Rivaldo's name has been linked in the past with outgoing
European Champions Manchester United but said if he left
Barcelona it would be to join an Italian team. He has a contract
with the Spanish club until 2003.
Rivaldo, who celebrated his 28th birthday on Wednesday, has
had a series of problems with Barcelona this season, his third
at the Nou Camp.
Trouble flared back in August when stories began circulating
that Manchester United were preparing a bid to make him the most
expensive player in the world amid speculation that his agent
was trying to negotiate an improved contract for him.
Barcelona had a more serious problem on their hands in
December when Rivaldo, newly crowned European Player of the
Year, said he did not want to play on the left wing in Louis van
Gaal's rigid 4-3-3 playing system.
The Brazilian was immediately dropped for two games,
returning only after he apologised in public to the coach and
his team-mates.
Since then, Rivaldo's form has flickered between the
brilliant and merely average, mirroring the erratic form of the
team as a whole in a wildly inconsistent season.
He is Barcelona's top scorer in the Champions League with 10
goals, including his two against Chelsea.
He played that game in the position he has always wanted at
Barca, as a central midfielder operating just behind striker
Patrick Kluivert.
"That was my most complete performance for Barcelona," said
Rivaldo before celebrating with his team-mates and family at a
surprise birthday party at a hotel near the Barca ground.

319 Posts
You tell me !!

There's not one mention of it in any of the Spanish newspapers from today. Not even in the "Marca" or the "Diario".....

The Miss

Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hopefully this is not true. Ofcourse Rivaldo is a great player and all but to sell of important players from the team to finance a buy of one!? player?, It can´t be the best thing to do. We have to keep building on this team and not to sell of key players like Almeyda for instance. I agree that Boksic should leave and maybe also Salas but but not anyone else!!

If there should some player to buy from Barcelona it should be Figo instead.

Forza Lazio

1,314 Posts
It would be very short term thinking indeed. I would rather have Savo Milosevic + Jorgensen then Rivaldo.

Forza Lazio !!

Ps. Looooopez :) is a better striker then Rivaldo !!

502 Posts
Ronaldinho and Raul Gonzalez is a good investment,they are both young and skillful and we should consider buying young talents than old top players,they are good but in a few years they will be useless...


Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It is short term thinking indeed but I would rather have a superb team that wins CL and scudetto for 2 years than a team that comes second in the league and doesnt get to the semifinals in the CL for 10 years. But the big mistake here would be to focus too much on Rivaldo thinking he will give us the scudetto cause he won't. That why Lazio still need to keep important players and/or buy plenty of young talent like if Rivaldo didn't exist cause in 2-3 years he will be playing for a team like Middlebrough.

If Almeyda and/or Nedved goes I find it difficult to have a competitve team for next season if not superb replacements are bought and I get the feeling that even Cragnotti have limits in the spending area.
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