August 18, 2018 / 3:48 PM / a year ago

Soccer-Ex-Brazil striker Baptista joins Romania's Cluj in bid to revive career

Aug 18 (Reuters) - Former Brazil striker Julio Baptista signed a contract with CFR Cluj in a bid to resurrect his career with the Romanian champions, the club said on Saturday.

Financial details of the transfer and the length of the contract were not revealed by the Railwaymen as Cluj are known in Romania.

“We are pleased to announce that we have completed the transfer of Julio Baptista, the former midfielder of Real Madrid, Arsenal and AS Rome,” the Transylvanian club said in a statement.

The 36-year-old striker, capped 47 times by Brazil, became a free agent after he was released by Major League Soccer club Orlando City in November 2016.

Known as The Beast due to his physical presence on the field, Baptista won the Copa America with Brazil twice as well as the Spanish La Liga title with Real Madrid.

Cluj, who won the Romanian league title for a fourth time in their first season under coach Dan Petrescu in May, also signed ex-Real Madrid’s reserve keeper Jesus Fernandez on Friday as they bid to strengthen their squad ahead of the Europa League playoffs.

Cluj, who top the domestic league standings with eight points from four matches, must beat Luxembourg’s F91 Dudelange over two legs this month to reach the Europa League’s group stages. (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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