After an intensive period of negotiations, the versatile attacking French midfielder Mathieu Valbuena has finally put pen to paper and signed a three-year contract with the Russian millionaires Dynamo Moscow. Valbuena, who had been a part of Marseille’s ranks over the last eight seasons, will now embark on his first adventure outside of French football and despite the interest of several European top clubs, the 29-year old footballer decided to accept the financially tempting offer from the Russian club, who back in the Soviet days had close bonds with the nation’s intelligence service, KGB.
According to recent media reports, Dynamo paid Marseille an amount of approximately £6 million for the French international; nevertheless, Valbuena will be the one to make the most profit out of the transfer, since he will reportedly grab something like £8.5 million during his three years’ contract with the Russian team.
Valbuena’s last seasons with Marseille have been somewhat impressive and he almost instantly became one of the team’s most influential players, helping them to grab the 2010 Ligue 1 title. As strange as it may seem, Valbuena only signed his first professional contract in 2006, when he joined Marseille from the amateur side of Libourne. The French international completed almost 250 matches for the former European champions and when all expected him to become an important piece of Marcelo Bielsa’s puzzle for a “new Marseille”, he decided to embark on a new and risky adventure that might, in spite of all the risks, be the best financial deal of his footballer’s career.
Dynamo Moscow seem to be fully committed into putting an end to the so-called “Lavrentiy Beria’s curse” that has “prevented” the team from winning the Russian/Soviet league since 1976, and they have spent big this Summer and last season. The arrival of a new ambitious head coach back in April, former Russian international goalkeeper Stanislav Cherchesov, who brought a new winning mentality to the team, has been generating some excitement in the supporters, who have had very few reasons to smile during, let’s say, the last seventeen years. Dynamo started the new Russian football season off on the right foot, smashing Rostov 7-3 at home, a result that will certainly motivate the team after the less impressive 1-1 draw of the UEFA Europa League’s first leg match with Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona.
To sum things up, moving to Moscow for his first professional experience abroad (and to a football league without any particular similarities with Ligue 1) is a bold step at Mathieu Valbuena’s career, nevertheless, the impressive amount of money Boris Rotenberg (Dynamo’s chairman) has offered him has certainly helped the French attacking midfielder to forget all “obstacles” he may find at this new reality.
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