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Page last updated at 18:40 GMT, Monday, 30 June 2008 19:40 UK

Chelsea sign Barca playmaker Deco

Deco
Deco has won both the European and Uefa Cup in his career

Chelsea have signed Portugal midfielder Deco from Spanish giants Barcelona on a two-year deal for a fee of about 8m.

The 30-year-old was recently told by Barca's new coach Pep Guardiola that he did not feature in their future plans.

"It is good for me to be here and first of all I am very happy to be here," Deco told Chelsea's official website.

Deco becomes the Blues' first signing since Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari was appointed manager earlier this month.

However, his signing is Chelsea's second of the summer after international team-mate Jose Bosingwa.

Brazil-born Deco joined Barcelona from Porto in 2004 after helping the Portuguese side win the Uefa Cup, Champions League and domestic league titles under former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.

606: DEBATE
mickmcmillan
He won two league championships with the Catalan giants, and was part of the team that beat Arsenal in the Champions League final in Paris in 2006.

However, a series of injuries hampered him during the 2007-08 season, and he made just 14 starts in Barcelona's La Liga campaign.

"I am sure I have come at the right time to do great things and be able to help Chelsea go back to the way it was and come back to being the first one, not only in England but also to win the Champions League that has been their dream for so long," added Deco.

"The Premier League is a great league and it is getting better and you can see that with the Champions League final, where you had two English teams."

Deco's arrival significantly boosts a midfield line-up already featuring the likes of Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack, Michael Essien, Jon Mikel Obi and Claude Makelele.

Deco's arrival looks like hastening the departure of Frank Lampard

BBC football correspondent Jonathan Legard
"It is great that we have so many great players here at Chelsea and it is great that there is the competition which is healthy for everybody and this just makes the team better," he added.

"To have great players in any position of the club just enhances the club. I know it is a new challenge but I am looking forward to it."

BBC Radio 5 Live football correspondent Jonathan Legard said that Deco caught the eye in Scolari's midfield during Euro 2008 more than team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.

"A two-year deal suggests he is not a long-term building block. He will be 31 in August but his winners' pedigree, Champions League triumphs with Barcelona and Porto will balance recent fears about fitness and consistency," said Legard.

And Legard believes Deco's arrival makes Lampard's possible exit to Inter Milan even more likely.

"Deco's arrival looks like hastening the departure of Frank Lampard, who has done little to quell long-term speculation that he is bound for a reunion with Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan.

"Barring a last-minute change of heart on both sides it's a question of when he signs in Italy, not if."


see also
Mourinho plays down Lampard talk
01 Jul 08 |  Chelsea
Barca confirm star trio can leave
17 Jun 08 |  Football
Deco 'to join Scolari's Chelsea'
13 Jun 08 |  Chelsea
Liverpool issue warning on Torres
13 Jun 08 |  Liverpool
Chelsea warned off Milan's Kaka
13 Jun 08 |  Chelsea
Scolari named as Chelsea manager
11 Jun 08 |  Chelsea
Barcelona ready to offload Deco
15 May 08 |  Football
Portugal players backing Scolari
13 Jun 08 |  Portugal
Chelsea players welcome Scolari
12 Jun 08 |  Chelsea
Scolari - the view from Brazil
12 Jun 08 |  Chelsea
Scolari's career in photos
11 Jun 08 |  Chelsea


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