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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 January 2007, 11:11 GMT
Roma striker joins Fulham on loan
Vincenzo Montella in action for Roma
Montella joined Roma in 1999
Roma striker Vincenzo Montella has joined Fulham on a six-month loan deal.

The 32-year-old, who was a member of the Italy 2002 World cup squad, has suffered from a recurring shoulder injury over the past 12 months.

"It has been an ambition of mine to play in England at some point in my career and I am happy to be given the opportunity." said Montella.

Montella, known as the airplane because of his trademark goal celebration, joined Roma for 17m in 1999.

"For me, I just want to play football and score goals, so I am looking forward to being able to do that with Fulham as soon as possible," he added on the Fulham website.

Montella played for Empoli, Genoa and Sampdoria before moving to the Italian capital.

"Roma have perfected an agreement with Fulham to loan on a temporary and free basis Vincenzo Montella," a statement on the Italian club's website said.

Montella was part of the Roma team that won the Serie A title - the Scudetto - in 2001, scoring several crucial goals as they closed in on the championship. He scored 83 goals in 180 games for Roma.

He was also a member of the Italian national squad at Euro 2000 and the 2002 World Cup, scoring three goals in 19 appearances for the Azzurri.

Fulham manager Chris Coleman is confident Montella will be able to make the transition from Serie A to the Premier League.

Coleman said: "I did discuss the fact that other players have struggled to adapt from Serie A but we think this league will work for him.

"He has a fantastic record in one of the toughest leagues in the world so we're very hopeful for him.

"We make a lot of chances for our strikers and he will enjoy playing for us and, hopefully, score a lot of goals.

"He is here until the end of the season and does not want to return home.

"That tells me a lot about him because he wants to test himself in what he considers to be the best league in the world."

606 DEBATE: Discuss the latest Fulham transfer news



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