Italy: Lottomatica Swoop For Bodiroga

19 July 2005
From Cindy Garcia-Bennett, PA International, Rome

Lottomatica Roma confirmed on Monday evening that they have completed the signing of Dejan Bodiroga on a two-year deal.

The acquisition of the 32-year-old shooting guard - Roma's first addition of the summer - is a major coup for the Lega A outfit.

The Serbo-Montenegrin international left Barcelona earlier this summer after his three-year contract came to an end, and during a glittering career he has established himself as one of the best players in the game.

Dejan Bodiroga (SCG)
Dejan Bodiroga
In 2002 he was hailed as the best player in Europe after leading Barca to a Copa del Rey, Euroleague and ACB treble. That summer he helped Yugoslavia claim the FIBA World Championship in Indianapolis.

The move will see Bodiroga link up again with Roma coach Svetislav Pesic, who coached him at Barcelona and in the Yugoslavia national team.

It will not be Bodiroga's first experience in Lega A, as the former Real Madrid star played for Stefanel Trieste and Olimpia Milano during the 1990s before his move to the Spanish capital.

He then moved to Panathinaikos, where he won three league titles and two Euroleague crowns before joining Barcelona.

The 2.05m star will retire from international duty after September's EuroBasket competition, which will be hosted in his home country.

Bodiroga will be looking to win the EuroBasket for the fourth time after collecting gold medals in 1995, 1997 and 2001.

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