x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Keirrison looks to the past

Brazilian striker Keirrison hopes to follow in the footsteps of likes of Romario, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho after signing a five-year contract with Barcelona.

Brazilian striker Keirrison hopes to follow in the footsteps of likes of Romario, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho after signing a five-year contract with Barcelona. The prolific 20-year-old forward had a medical yesterday after Barca reached an agreement with Brazilian club Palmeiras. The Spanish champions will pay an initial ?14 million (Dh73m) with the possibility of an additional ?2m depending on first-team appearances.

Keirrison told fcbarcelona.cat: "I've always followed Barca and the great Brazilian footballers who have played here. Since I was a boy I've carried Barca in my heart and at the age of 20 I have the pleasure of playing at this great club. "I'm very happy to be here and fulfil my dream of signing for the best club in the world. I'm lucky enough to join Barca at a very young age. I hope to earn a place in the team just like the other Brazilian forwards that played for Barca."

Barca boss Pep Guardiola confirmed the youngster will be sent out on loan next season, though his destination is yet to be decided. Meanwhile, French champions Bordeaux take on second division side Guingamp in Montreal today in the Trophee des Champions, played between the winners of the league and the French Cup. Les Girondins beat Lyon on penalties in last season's campaign curtain-raiser and they are heavy favourites to successfully defend their title.

Coach Laurent Blanc has mixed feelings about the decision to stage the match away from France. "The idea is original, I'm quite happy to go and introduce Ligue 1 elsewhere, in a French-speaking country," he said. "On the other hand, we are in a period of full preparation [for the league season] and we will have jet lag and be playing on a synthetic surface we aren't used to." * Agencies