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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Maradona, Caniggia Sign Deals

BUENOS AIRES -- Diego Maradona and his former Argentine national teammate Claudio Caniggia signed for Buenos Aires team Boca Juniors, promising a dream combination for Argentine soccer fans.

"God has given me to Boca, which was what I wanted," an influenza-stricken Maradona said at a news conference packed with journalists and rowdy fans after the signing Monday.

Both midfielder Maradona and his long-time friend Caniggia, a striker who has been playing for Benfica in Portugal, signed contracts for more than $9 million, according to Argentine television.

Maradona has signed until December 1997 and Caniggia until June 1996, an official said at the signing ceremony.

The signing officially ends months of uncertainty about what Maradona would do after completing a FIFA playing ban imposed during the 1994 World Cup finals for failing a dope test.

One of the world's best players in the 1980s, Maradona began a disastrous and short-lived second career as a coach before offering his services to teams eager for his playing services after his ban ends in September.

At that time, the two players will have served a combined total of 45 months in drug suspensions.

Maradona said all along he wanted to play again for Boca, the club from the rough side of Buenos Aires he led to a championship in 1981, but he flirted for a while with Brazilian team Santos.


Parma soccer club has been flooded with calls after new signing Hristo Stoichkov placed an advertisement in the local paper seeking a house to rent.

"Wanted to rent: villa for Hristo Stoichkov, four to five bedrooms with 300-to 500-meter garden in city or suburbs. Ring Parma soccer club," the ad in the Gazzetta di Parma said.

The club said Monday it had received dozens of calls, some from fans offering flats nothing like the description given but nonetheless keen to have the Bulgarian international as a tenant.


Torino and Italy striker Andrea Silenzi signed for English Premier League club Nottingham Forest on Monday on a three-year contract.

Club sources said the international had agreed to a three-year deal with Forest officials in Turin after Forest manager Frank Clark flew to Italy to complete the deal.

Forest was believed to have paid Torino around ?1.6 million ($2.55 million). Silenzi ,29, is the first Italian of international stature to sign a long-term contract in the English league.

Four days ago, AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi warned that with the weakness of the lira, Silenzi's move could lead to a greater exodus.


European Cup holders Ajax Amsterdam on Monday completed the transfer of Brazilian international Marcio Santos, 25, with the signing of a four-year contract.

Marcio Santos transferred from Italy's Fiorentina for a reported $3.2 million in June. But he had barely arrived before walking out in disagreement over payments into a players' pension fund.

Under Dutch soccer rules, players contribute a percentage into the fund based on their gross salary. In the Brazilian's case it was reckoned he would pay about half of his salary into the fund.

Ajax was able to overcome the problem with a deal with the Dutch tax authorities.