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Football: Kežman goes to Fenerbahçe

Friday, June 30, 2006
Serbia and Montenegro international, Mateja Kežman, will sign a three year contract with Fenerbahçe today. The striker spent an unsuccessful season with Chelsea and all three parties have agreed to this 7 million Euro transfer.

Kežman started his career in Serbia and Montenegro, where he became popular while playing for Partizan, Belgrade. He was bought by the Dutch team PSV, where he was a prolific striker, setting a record number of goals per season. His year in Chelsea was not as successful, as he mostly started games as a substitute and managed to score only seven goals in official games.

Other teams that demonstrated an interest in Kežman this summer included Sevilla, Olympique de Marseille and Schalke 04.

Kežman led Serbia and Montenegro's scoring during the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifications with 5 goals, including the only goal in the final game against Bosnia and Herzegovina which in turn allowed Serbia and Montenegro to qualify directly, having come first in their group. He has managed 16 goals in 45 caps for Serbia and Montenegro, as of December 2005.

He failed to make an impact with the London club, and only started 14 games for Chelsea, leaving for Atlético de Madrid after just one season. Despite his disappointing year, Chelsea made a transfer profit on the player. After a short spell in Madrid, Fenerbahçe SK trusted in "Batman" and signed him to a three year contract in August 2006. The management and fans knew he was a risky transfer, especially considering he was to fill the void of departed superstar Nicolas Anelka. The management's faith seemed to pull through as Kežman quickly found his PSV-form back again and scored in consecutive matches early into the season. Kežman scored 3 crucial goals in his first 3 matches (2 were Game-winning and 1 was Game-tying). All three were beautiful strikes and won weekly honours.

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