Egypt's stocks close in red on Monday as benchmark EGX 30 dips 0.07%    Egypt's stocks start week higher, benchmark EGX 30 gains 0.48%    Fitch affirms Egypt's long-term foreign currency issuer default rating at B+    The unvaccinated prohibited from entry to Egypt state institutions starting December 1    Russia to lift COVID restrictions on flights to Egypt's Red Sea resorts on Nov. 9    Egypt, Greece ink deal for first subsea power link between Europe and Africa    Egypt hosts regional conference of EU refugee agency EASO    SCOHRE sparks discussion on harm reduction, tobacco control    Egypt to receive first of six high-trains from Spain's Talgo in mid-November    Egypt's iron and steel exports jump 197% in 8 months    Ethiopia halts work at its embassy in Egypt for 'economic reasons'    It's a bit frustrating to draw at home: Real Madrid keeper after Villarreal game    Russia says it's in sync with US, China, Pakistan on Taliban    Shoukry reviews with Guterres Egypt's efforts to achieve SDGs, promote human rights    Sudan says countries must cooperate on vaccines    Over 100 officials resign from Tunisia's main Islamist party    Johnson & Johnson: Second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19    Egypt to tax bloggers, YouTubers    Egyptian court bans use of mosques for political purposes    Brazil calls up 8 EPL players for World Cup qualifying    Refugees in fear as sentiment turns against them in Turkey    We mustn't lose touch: Muller after Bayern win in Bundesliga    Egypt records 36 new deaths from Covid-19, highest since mid June    Egypt sells $3 bln US-dollar dominated eurobonds    Sisi calls on House, Senate to commence second legislative sessions on 3, 5 October    Huawei Technologies has invested $10 mln over 5 years in innovation centres in Egypt    Gamal Hanafy's ceramic exhibition at Gezira Arts Centre is a must go    Italian Institute Director Davide Scalmani presents activities of the Cairo Institute for ITALIANA.IT platform    Qa'a play showing at Lycee El Horreya Theatre, Alexandria is a must go    Orange Egypt Introduces Amazon Prime Video    Tokyo Olympics: Cautious opening ceremony, shy start for Egyptians in competitions    Mallawi Museum in Upper Egypt holds recycling workshop for children during Eid Al-Adha    Egypt keen on stable tax policies to attract more investors: Finance Minister    Sudan declares state of emergency as water goes beyond Merowe Dam capacity    Niagara Falls illuminated in Egyptian flag to mark 23 July Revolution anniversary    Capital flows into EM keep recovering after March 2020 slump: Central Bank of Egypt    1 child orphaned every 12 seconds due to COVID-19-associated death: World Bank    Egypt, Japanese Olympic Committee discuss boosting sports cooperation    US emphasises AU's role in mediating Ethiopian damdispute    Ethiopia ready to resume dam talks with no legally binding agreements: Ethiopian official    Sunken city of Thônis-Heracleion in Egypt's Abu Qir bay yields new archaeological treasures    New films, concerts, and destinations for Eid Al-Adha holidays    Egypt, Oman discuss enhancing bilateral economic, investment relations    Al Ahly v Kaizer Chiefs: Cairo giants eye 10th CAF Champions League title    Tunisia hopes to have a UN role in resolving Egypt-Ethiopia dam dispute    APO Group enters new exclusive agreement with Getty Images on African press releases and images    On International Museum Day, Egypt opens two new museums at Cairo Airport    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    







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Vermaelen eyes new start at Barcelona
Published in Ahram Online on 10 - 08 - 2014

Thomas Vermaelen wants to put an injury-plagued spell behind him and "start from scratch" after completing his move to Barcelona from Arsenal, the Belgium defender said on Sunday.
Vermaelen sustained an Achilles injury in 2010 followed by a series of niggling problems and featured only 21 times for Arsenal in the 2013-14 season after falling behind Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in the pecking order.
The 28-year-old signed his five-year Barca contract and was presented to fans at the Nou Camp on Sunday before setting out his ambitions at the Spanish club, where he will compete for a starting place with the likes of Gerard Pique, Jeremy Mathieu and Marc Bartra.
"When you come to a club as big as Barca you have to prove your worth and playing time is not a given," Vermaelen told a news conference.
"Barca's centre backs are very good, there is competition but it's up to me to show I can play here," he added.
"I want to put the injuries behind me and look forward. Last season was tough but I want to start again from scratch and I am sure I will have a fantastic season.
"I have a lot of desire to play and I am aware that expectations are very high."
Barca's defence was a weak point last season, when they failed to win major silverware for the first time in six years.
Gerardo Martino has been replaced as coach by former Barca and Spain midfielder Luis Enrique and as well as strengthening the defence with Vermaelen and Mathieu the club have bought in Uruguay striker Luis Suarez, Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic and goalkeepers Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo.
Midfielder Rafinha, the younger brother of Bayern Munich's former Barca playmaker Thiago Alcantara, and forward Gerard Deulofeu, have returned from loan spells at Celta Vigo and Everton respectively.
Vermaelen sustained a minor hamstring injury at the World Cup finals in Brazil in June and said he still needed a few weeks to get back to full fitness.
Barca start their La Liga campaign, when they will chase a fifth title in seven years, at home to Elche on Aug. 24.
Jordi Mestre, a Barca vice president, told reporters the club had agreed to pay as much as 18.8 million euros for Vermaelen, including a fixed fee of 10 million, depending on his performances and the team's results.
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