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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 August 2006, 15:04 GMT 16:04 UK
Boulahrouz completes Chelsea move
Khalid Boulahrouz
Boulahrouz had a fine World Cup for Holland
Chelsea have completed the signing of Dutch international defender Khalid Boulahrouz from German club Hamburg for an undisclosed fee.

The 24-year-old passed a medical and agreed personal terms at the weekend, and was at Stamford Bridge to see his new side beat Manchester City 3-0.

Chelsea are thought to have paid in the region of 6m for the defender, who can play anywhere across the back.

He was unveiled at a news conference at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

Nicknamed Khalid the Cannibal, he has been capped 15 times by Holland.

Bhoulahrouz left Hamburg under a cloud after claims he pulled out of a Champions League game upon hearing of Chelsea's interest.

He said he suffered an ankle injury in the warm-up but Hamburg chiefs suspected Chelsea had been in touch and did not want him to play as it would rule him out of Europe.

But said: "Nobody is in a position to say such things. I had pain and could not play. That is the end of it.

Khalid is the kind of person I admire

Jose Mourinho

"Everybody could see it. I have been suffering since our training camp and HSV knew all about that.

"I am happy to play for Chelsea, the biggest club in the world, and I will try to give my best and play with my heart on the pitch.

"I have played central defender for the last couple of years. That is the position where I can show all my qualities. But right defender is not a problem for me.

"I have not played a lot of games in pre-season but I am fit and I am OK. I know what to do as a defender. That is the most important thing."

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho added: "In a short squad and in a country where you can have only 16 players for a match, it's important to have cover for many positions.

"So now I can have Boulahrouz, Ricardo Carvalho and John Terry - three options for the centre. I can have Paulo Ferreira and Boulahrouz - two options for the right side; I can have Boulahrouz and Wayne Bridge - two options for the left side."

Boulahrouz left the illustrious Ajax youth system and made his name at unfashionable RKC Waalwijk, where he played under Spurs boss Martin Jol before Hamburg moved in for him two years ago.

Mourinho said: "Khalid is the kind of person I admire. Life was not easy for him and to be here as a 24-year-old he had to go through the process from a small club and then to Germany and the national team.

"Now he is at one of the best clubs in the world at the moment. He did that because of hard work, ambition, confidence and quality."

Boulahrouz started the last two World Cup games for Holland at the World Cup but he was red-carded in their defeat by Portugal in the last 16, a stormy affair in which he was accused of deliberately trying to injure winger Cristiano Ronaldo with a thigh-high challenge.

"He is a good competitive player and will be a good addition to our squad," Chelsea's assistant manager Steve Clarke told Chelsea TV.

"It is important to have one or two players around the squad who can play in a number of different positions."

He goes straight into Chelsea's squad for Wednesday's Premiership game at Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough v Chelsea
22 Aug 06 |  Premiership
Portugal 1-0 Holland
25 Jun 06 |  World Cup 2006


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