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From Real to Blackburn - Big Sam clinches signing of veteran Salgado
Published : 19 Aug 2009 18:04:47
Sam Allardyce has pulled off a coup by signing Real Madrid legend Michel Salgado on a free transfer. The right-back has penned a two-year contract at Blackburn Rovers following his release by the Spanish giants earlier this month. West Ham United had also shown interest in the 53-cap Spain international, but the 33-year-old has opted for Lancashire. Blackburn are now waiting for international clearance before Salgado can make his debut. He will head back to Madrid next week to say goodbye at a match arranged in his honour against Rosenborg on Monday. The signing of the two-time Champions League winner is typical Allardyce, who once took the likes of Youri Djorkaeff, Jay-Jay Okocha, Fernando Hierroand Ivan Campo to Bolton. Salgado is relishing the challenge that lies ahead after revealing he almostmoved to England five years ago. 'I had a chance to come to Chelsea but I was lucky too because my team was Real Madrid,' he said. 'I love the club, I was there 10 years - it is a lifetime. I am proud ofplaying for them for so long. 'Now I want to enjoy the next two years, playing in the Premier League. It is one of the best in the world. Not only that it is pure football - fantastic games and a fantasticatmosphere. This will be a good experience for me, my wife and children. I have joined a historic club.' Allardyce said: 'Michel is an outstanding player. This lad will bring an awful lot,not just on the field but to the club in general. It will give us bigger status. He will demand more from the players rather than me or the coaches. 'I want him to bring a Real Madrid attitude to the dressing room. That is what Fernando did at Bolton and we all benefited. Hopefully that will be the case with Michel.'