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Uzbek Soccer Club Signs Its Star

After the Tashkent soccer club Bunyodkur (known as Kuruvchi until earlier this month) failed in its high-profile bid to lure Cameroonian star Samuel Eto'o away from Barcelona, it finally signed its big-name star.

Rivaldo, the FIFA World Player of the Year and European Footballer of the Year in 1999 and a member of Brazil's World Cup-winning squad of 2002, announced this week that he has agreed to leave AEK Athens for the Uzbek league.

The 36-year-old forward said, "It was a difficult decision to make but I have received an offer that is very good for my career." He reportedly received a two-year deal worth 10 million euros ($14.6 million), which he described as "the kind of offer you can't turn down."

As we noted in a previous post, the Tashkent club is sponsored by the Zeromax oil company, which belongs to Uzbek President Islam Karimov's daughter, Gulnara Karimova.

-- Dan Wisniewski

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