Uruguay captain Godin joins Cagliari after one season at Inter

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Serie A - Inter Milan v Torino - San Siro, Milan, Italy - July 13, 2020 Inter Milan's Diego Godin, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo

MILAN (Reuters) - Uruguay captain and central defender Diego Godin has joined Cagliari after one season at fellow Serie A side Inter Milan, the Sardinian club said on Thursday.

The 34-year-old, Uruguay’s most capped player with 135 appearances, has played at three World Cups and is regarded as one of the finest defenders of his generation. Cagliari said in a statement that he had signed a three-year contract.

At club level, Godin is best known for a nine-season stint at Atletico Madrid where he helped form the backbone of the uncompromising side built by Diego Simeone, whose son Giovanni plays as a centre-forward for Cagliari.

He was also an imposing presence at the heart of the Inter defence as they finished second in Serie A last season with the best defensive record in the league.

There was no obvious reason why Inter wanted to let him go, although Italian media reported they were trying to cut their wage bill to fund new signings for coach Antonio Conte.

Cagliari, who won their only Serie A title in 1970, finished 14th in the standings last season after a suffering a form slump in January and February.

Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond