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Page last updated at 14:56 GMT, Thursday, 17 July 2008 15:56 UK

Gilberto moves to Panathinaikos

Gilberto Silva
Gilberto joined Arsenal in 2002 from Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro

Brazil midfielder Gilberto has ended his six-year stay at Arsenal by signing for Greek club Panathinaikos.

The 31-year-old passed a medical and signed a three-year deal after Arsenal accepted an offer of around 1m.

"I'm hungry to win more titles," said Gilberto, who has now become the highest-paid player in Greece.

"I came to Greece because I have big ambitions, it's very important for me to be able to continue to give my best. I couldn't say no to the offer."

Wenger signed Gilberto from Brazilian club side Atletico Mineiro in 2002 after he impressed at the World Cup.

The midfielder quickly established himself in Wenger's side, making a total of 244 appearances for the club and scoring 24 goals.

The Brazilian was also an integral part of the Gunners' side which won the Premier League in 2003/04 and won the FA Cup twice in 2003 and 2005.


But he struggled to hold down a regular place in Arsene Wenger's side last season because of the emergence of Mathieu Flamini and the impact of Cesc Fabregas.

He also lost the club captaincy to William Gallas.

Gilberto was keen to join up with Panathinaikos boss Henk ten Cate, who left his post as Chelsea assistant coach at the end of last season.

"I'm sure we will qualify through to the group stages of the Champions League," added Gilberto. "I'm exited about being a Panathinaikos player."

The 31-year-old has followed AC Milan signing Flamini and Barcelona recruit Alexander Hleb out of the Emirates.

The exodus means Wenger will now look to summer signing Samri Nasri and Abou Diaby to cement their places in midfield with 5m signing Wales teenager Aaron Ramsey a prospect for the future.

see also
Gilberto signs Arsenal extension
21 Sep 05 |  Arsenal
Gilberto's a city slicker
09 Oct 02 |  Arsenal
Silva joins Arsenal
28 Jul 02 |  Arsenal

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