Juventus sign Diego from Werder Bremen

ROME (Reuters) - Juventus have signed Brazilian playmaker Diego from Werder Bremen for 24.5 million euros (21.5 million pounds) on a five-year deal, the Serie A club said on Tuesday.

Werder Bremen's Diego reacts during their UEFA Cup semi-final, first leg match against HSV Hamburg at the Weser stadium in Bremen April 30, 2009. Juventus have signed the Brazilian playmaker from Werder Bremen for 24.5 million euros (21.5 million pounds) on a five-year deal, the Serie A club said on Tuesday. REUTERS/Christian Charisius

Diego helped steer Werder to the UEFA and German Cup finals this season with some exhilarating performances, which also attracted interest from Bayern Munich.

He was suspended for Werder’s 2-1 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA final but hopes to finish his stint at the club on a high with victory over Bayer Leverkusen in the German Cup final Saturday.

Diego joined Werder from Porto in 2006.

“I’m enthusiastic about Juventus and proud to become part of such a prestigious club, which I have dreamed about since I was a child,” Diego told the Turin club’s website (

“After the experiences in Portugal and in the Bundesliga I will be able to measure up to football of a very high level in a difficult and very competitive championship.

“It’s the right time in my career to make such an important step and I’m convinced that with Juventus I’ll achieve great results.”

Diego’s arrival is aimed at filling the gap created by Pavel Nedved’s expected retirement. Juve also hope Diego can spur them to success in the Champions League and on the home front next season. Claudio Ranieri’s failure to do so cost the coach his job last week.

Juventus, who are currently in the hands of caretaker boss Ciro Ferrara, also have a deal to bring Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro back from Real Madrid despite widespread supporter opposition.

The 35-year-old centre back, soon out of contract at Real, left for Spain in 2006 when Juve were demoted for match-fixing, while other top players such as Alessandro Del Piero and Gianluigi Buffon stuck with the club for their season in the second tier.

Reporting by Paul Virgo; Editing by Peter Rutherford