Former Real Madrid defender Carvalho signs with Shanghai SIPG

Beijing, Jan 9 (IANS) The Shanghai SIPG Football Club confirmed on Monday the signing of veteran Portuguese defender and former Real Madrid player Ricardo Carvalho.

The 38-year-old, who was part of the winning team at the UEFA European Championship last year, has played 89 matches and scored five goals for Portugal, reports Efe.

He signed a one-year contract with SIPG, managed by his fellow countryman André Villas-Boas, and will join the likes of Brazil’s Hulk, Oscar and Elkeson, and Uzbekistan’s Odil Ahmedov at the club.

Regarded as one of the best defenders in the world in the last decade, Carvalho was part of the 2004 national team that reached Euro final, and 2004 Porto club, managed by Jose Mourinho that won the UEFA Champions League.

Carvalho followed the “Special One” Mourinho to London-based club Chelsea, where he played 135 matches and scored 7 goals over six years.

After Chelsea, Carvalho had moved to Spain’s Real Madrid for three years and France’s Monaco for another three.

He was left without a team after Monaco decided against renewing his contract last summer.

Rumours of his new association with SIPG emerged when a photo of him training with the club surfaced recently, but the club was yet to confirm the signing until now.

SIPG drew international media attention after breaking the records for most expensive transfers in China twice — Hulk for $57.9 million last season from Russian club Zenit, and Oscar for $64 million from Chelsea in December.