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Ze Roberto signs for Bayern

Posted: Friday May 17, 2002 10:05 AM

MUNICH,Germany (AP) -- Ze Roberto became the second star from Champions League finalist Bayer Leverkusen to sign with Bayern Munich for next season, it was announced Friday.

The Brazilian midfielder signed until 2005, with Leverkusen and Munich planning to negotiate on the transfer fee on Saturday at a league meeting. German reports said it was around 12 million euro (US$10.8 million) transfer fee.

"He is a player that can help us move forward," Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said of the 28-year-old, who was the Bundesliga's top assists man this season.

Munich, after a disappointing year, has now completely revamped its midfield. Just before New Year, it signed Leverkusen's Michael Ballack, a lock on Germany's player of the year award, and Hertha Berlin's Sebastian Deisler, the country' biggest talent.

Roberto, who had 44 caps for Brazil before being sidelined by injuries, was one of the attacking stars on a high-scoring Leverkusen team, which finished second in three competitions this season.

Roberto, known for his crosses and dribbling ability, will form an axis on the left side with Bayern's Bixente Lizarazu, a French World Cup player regarded as one of the world's top defensive midfielders.

Bayern Munich, Champions Cup winner last year, failed to win a single title this season for the first time since 1995.

Leverkusen, which is used to having its stars raided by bigger clubs, has promised that it will sign new top players for next year, based on a history of finding unfinished players cheap and developing them.

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