Diarra completes £20 million move | inside World Soccer

Diarra completes £20 million move

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Lassana Diarra was officially presented as a Real Madrid player at the Bernabéu after passing a medical and putting pen-to-paper on a four-and-a-half year contract with the Spanish giants.

Real agreed a fee with Portsmouth earlier in the week, reported to be in the region of £20 million, with Diarra completing talks over his personal terms on Sunday evening.

The 23-year-old has been brought in to help cover the losses of Mahamadou Diarra and Rubén de la Red, who have both been ruled out for the season.

Real president Ramón Calderón said of his latest signing: "He is an exceptional player who has a lot of experience and will be a magnificent solution for us for the rest of the season and four more."

Diarra has spent time at Arsenal and Chelsea already in his career and is now set to make the step to play for the nine-times European champions.

He said: "For four or five years I have been at great clubs, such as Arsenal and Chelsea, as well as the French national team, and I'm ready to play for Real Madrid.

"I have a lot of desire to do well, and I'm looking forward to defending the Real Madrid colours. It's a dream to be here and I'm very happy.

"I hope everything goes as well as possible for me here in Madrid."

Diarra, who joins namesake Mahamadou Diarra in Real, will wear the name Lass on the back of his shirt.

"I don't want to be called Diarra One or Diarra Two," he explained. "I want to be known as Lass."

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