June 26, 2009 / 3:56 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 2-Soccer-Panathinaikos sign Cisse and Katsouranis

* Cisse and Katsouranis agree four-year deals

* France striker given rapturous welcome by fans

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ATHENS, June 26 (Reuters) - Panathinaikos made a double swoop for Olympique Marseille striker Djibril Cisse and Benfica midfielder Kostas Katsouranis on Friday.

“Panathinaikos has reached agreement with Djibril Cisse on a four-year contract,” the Greek club said on their website (www.pao.gr).

No financial details were released but media reports said Marseille would receive around eight million euros ($11.15 million) for the player, who will earn about 2.5 million euros a year.

Midfielder Katsouranis, a Euro 2004 winner with Greece, has also signed a four-year deal with coach Henk ten Cate’s side.

“It’s good that quality players are coming to Greece and the standard of the championship is improving,” the former AEK Athens player told reporters.

“That’s what we all want to see. Better entertainment.”


Cisse, 27, was given a rapturous reception by more than 2,000 Panathinaikos fans when he arrived at Eleftherios Venizelos airport on Thursday.

The former Liverpool striker, of Ivorian descent, made his name at French club Auxerre before moving to Anfield in 2004.

After three years in the Premier League Cisse joined Marseille, who loaned him last season to top-flight English club Sunderland where he scored 10 goals in 35 games.

He has 37 caps and nine goals for France.

Katsouranis, renowned for his work-rate and range of passing, joins a strong midfield featuring Brazil’s Gilberto Silva, Greek pair Giorgos Karagounis and Sotiris Ninis and Austria captain Andreas Ivanschitz.

Panathinaikos finished third last season, 10 points behind champions Olympiakos Piraeus.

Editing by Neil Maidment. To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com

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