Inter Milan signs ex-Juventus forward Ibrahimovic

August 10, 2006

MILAN, Italy -- Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined Internazionale of Milan on Thursday for a $31.9 million transfer fee, becoming the latest player to leave Juventus.

Juventus, which paid Ajax Amsterdam $19 million for Ibrahimovic two seasons ago, said Inter will pay the transfer fee over three years. The 24-year-old forward signed a four-year contract.

"Since I was a little boy, I have always dreamed of playing for Inter. I am very happy it has come true," he said.

Juventus was stripped of its 2005 and 2006 Serie A titles, relegated to Serie B and penalized 17 points in next season's standings for its role in Italy's match-fixing scandal. The sanctions led to the departures of Gianluca Zambrotta, Lilian Thuram, Emerson, Fabio Cannavaro and Patrick Vieira.

"We trained hard every day for the last two years to win two Serie A titles," Ibrahimovic said. "We cannot accept that they can take them away. I still feel like a champion."

Inter has also acquired Vieira along with Palermo defender Fabio Grosso and Chelsea forward Hernan Crespo.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press