Seeking promotion from the second division in Cyprus, AEK Larnaca FC have enlisted the services of Iván Campo with the out-of-contract former Real Madrid CF midfielder said to be eager to get the club back "where they belong".
The 35-year-old defensive midfielder, who more recently represented Bolton Wanderers FC and Ipswich Town FC in England, was officially unveiled at his new club on Monday, having agreed a six-month contract. AEK spokesman Demetris Georgiades told uefa.com: "Campo and club president Marios Ellinas know each other well and he has agreed to play for AEK to help the side get back to the first division, where they belong. He said that he will only play for AEK in Cyprus because he wants to help the club. That is what a true professional he is."
Capped four times by Spain, Campo won the 1999/00 UEFA Champions League and the 2000/01 Liga title with Madrid, who he joined in 1998 following spells with Deportivo Alavés, Real Valladolid CF, Valencia CF and RCD Mallorca. Campo has returned to Spain to conclude some personal business, but could make his debut in AEK's next league match against PAEEK Kyrenia FC on 2 January next year.
Formed in 1994 with the merger of Pezoporikos FC and EPA FC, AEK's relegation last season left Larnaca without a side in the island's top division. The club recently unveiled former Cyprus, AC Omonia and Anorthosis Famagusta FC boss Andreas Michaelides as their new manager. AEK were Cypriot cup winners back in 2004 as well as runners-up in the same competition in 1996 and 2006.