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Champions League winner Maniche joins Cologne

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 20 Jul 2009

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Veteran Portuguese international midfielder Maniche joined German side Cologne on a free transfer, the club’s website said on Monday.

The 31-year-old – a Champions League winner with Porto in 2004 – was released from his previous contract with Spanish side Atletico Madrid in May.

“Maniche is one of the great names in European football and we are proud to have signed him,” Cologne chairman Wolfgang Overath said.

Maniche – capped 52 times – enjoyed a golden spell under Jose Mourinho at Porto also collecting the 2003 UEFA Cup before an unhappy 16million pounds move to Russian side Dynamo Moscow.

The Russian side loaned him to Chelsea where Mourinho was manager but he failed to shine and moved to Atletico, who in turn loaned him to Inter Milan in 2008.

Maniche – who was part of the Portugal side beaten by Greece in the Euro 2004 final – joins a team attempting to consolidate on its 12th place finish in the Bundesliga last season.

Another addition to the squad has been the return of German international striker Lukas Podolski, back after a three year spell with Bayern Munich.

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