Portuguese defender Fonte joins Lille

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Paris, July 21 (IANS) Portuguese centre-back Jose Fonte signed a two-year deal with Ligue 1 football club Lille on Friday, less than a week after he terminated contract with Chinese Super League (CSL) side Dalian Yifang.

Fonte had played for Benfica, Crystal Palace, Southampton and West Ham before joining Dalian in February 2018, reports Xinhua news agency.

“This is a new challenge for me, which I hope will be very successful. I will give everything to help the club as best as possible in its ambitious project,” Fonte said after signing with Lille.

CSL promoted side Dalian, despite having signed prominent names like Fonte, Yannick Carrasco and Nicolas Gaitan, showed few signs of adjustment as they just sat second from bottom after the 12th round action.

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In a statement posted on the club’s official website on July 15, Dalian Yifang said they and Fonte had reached an agreement to terminate their contract in a “friendly manner”.

The center back duo of Fonte and Pepe lifted Portugal to the 2016 European championship. Fonte also featured in Portugal’s squad at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

“After a successful World Cup in Russia, he had other opportunities but he liked the ambition of the club and will thus discover a new championship whose level is constantly rising. No doubt, this is something that will bring us both in the field and in the locker room,” said Marc Ingla, CEO of Lille.

–IANS

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