Liverpool Sign Sotirios Kyrgiakos From AEK Athens

The Greek has officially joined the Reds today..

Liverpool have today officially confirmed what was reported earlier in the week at, and announced the signing of Sotirios Kyrgiakos from Greek outfit AEK Athens.

Reds manager Rafa Benitez was delighted to have snared the defender, who has signed a two-year deal with an option of another year should things go well for him on Merseyside. The fee is believed to be in the region of €3 million.

"He is a tough defender who is strong and good in the air. He has a strong character and we were looking for these things," the Spaniard told 'Pool's official website.

"He can score goals and will be a threat from corners and free-kicks. He's very strong in defence but he will need time as always to settle into the Premier League. He will be a very good signing for us.

"We knew the player when he was with Rangers and we've been watching videos of him at Frankfurt and the national team. Our scout department had a lot of information.

"We've talked about the things he's done before and the things he'll have to do for us. It was good. He knows what we want and he's ready to work."

Benitez also thinks the acquisition of the defender provides some much needed experience for the Reds backline, and anticipates the Greek international helping out the youngsters at Anfield.

"It will be positive. I was talking with Ayala about this. When the young players see someone with experience it is positive because they can learn from them," he added.

"It also means they have more time. If they have to play some games they can but they are not under pressure."

Zack Wilson,

Sotirios Kyrgiakos trained alongside his new teammates for the first time today and our snapper was there to bring you these exclusive photos.

Torres, Voronin and Kyrgiakos.


Sotirios Kyrgiakos


New boy Alberto Aquilani will don the No.4 jersey vacated by Sami Hyypia following his move from Roma.
The Italy international, who has agreed a five-year deal at Anfield, will follow in the footsteps of players like Steve Nicol, Jason McAteer, Rigobert Song and, most famously, Hyypia.

Fans will have to wait to see Aquilani in his new shirt due to an ankle injury expected to keep him out for another four to eight weeks.

Journalist: Alberto, welcome to Liverpool Football Club. Can you tell us why you decided to leave Roma?

I knew that I would only leave Roma for a club such as Liverpool. I hope to grow as a player here and do the shirt proud.

Journalist: You mentioned the 1984 European Cup final between Roma and Liverpool. Would it be fair to say Liverpool have always been your second team?

Yes. I did not actually see the game because I wasn't born when the final took place, but Bruno Conti spoke to me about it a lot and especially his mistake in the penalty shootout.

Journalist: You're a young boy, so it must have been difficult to leave the city of Rome and come to Liverpool?

It was a difficult decision to leave my home city. Obviously I was born and raised there, and I've always been a fan of Roma. It wasn't easy, but when this opportunity presented itself I did not think twice.

Journalist: You've been here about a week now and you've met some of the players and the manager - how have they helped you settle in so far?

They have definitely helped me a lot, especially the manager and (chief scout) Eduardo Macia. They have made me feel at home and shown me how important I am to them already. I've met some of the players, but not many because they've been playing in international games. I know they are going to be great and I'll have no problem fitting in.

Journalist: What aspect of playing in the Premier League are you most looking forward to?

The football played here in the Premier League is different to Italian football. It is much faster, athletic and the teams are stronger. This is proven by the fact you always see English teams reaching the latter stages of the Champions League. I don't think it will be a problem and I'm looking forward to it.

Journalist: How much of a risk is it for a footballer to come to a new country and league in a World Cup year?

There can be advantages and disadvantages, but obviously that depends on me. Marcello Lippi told me that I will have absolutely no problem. He said I am coming to play for a very important team and if I play well here, he will definitely call me up for the national team. My plan now is to keep improving because I don't want to stop.

Journalist: Xabi Alonso was a very important player for Liverpool last season when they came close to winning the Premier League. Do you feel any added pressure stepping into Xabi's shoes?

Xabi was obviously a very important player - he played well. But I am not his natural substitute and it is important for me to play well whether I am taking his place or someone else's place. That's the main thing.

Journalist: You've arrived here with an injury and you'll be out for a few more weeks. Do you feel you can put those injury worries behind you and play a lot of games for Liverpool after you've recovered?

That's exactly what I hope. I knew of the injury before I came here and I am happy because here they have diagnosed the injury problem properly - they know exactly what it is and say it can be fixed. I am hoping to recover well and not to have to stop playing again.

Journalist: When do you hope to make your debut?

I don't really know when I'll make my debut. At Roma, I'd already started to train a little bit, but the doctor here prefers me to take it easy. I am here for five years, so there is no point in rushing back and then having to stop again later on. At the moment I am listening to the advice and I am hoping to get better soon.

Journalist: Liverpool had a great season last campaign and almost won the league. This year they'll be challenging Manchester United and Chelsea again. Do you know of the pressure you'll be under to help achieve that?

I'm very well aware of the pressure this club is under and that I'm going to be under too. If you want to play for a big club, you have to be ready for the pressure.

Journalist: You played at Roma with a legend in Francesco Totti. You're now playing at Liverpool with a legend in Steven Gerrard - how good is he as a player?

Like I've said before, I think Steven Gerrard is the best midfielder in the world and I am very proud to have the opportunity to play alongside him. I hope I can learn a lot from him.

Journalist: Did you speak to Andrea Dossena before deciding to come here?

Yes. I know Dossena very well from the Italian national team and he told me I would be in for a fantastic atmosphere here.

Journalist: Any reason why you picked the No.4 jersey?

Some of my favoured numbers were already taken and No.4 in Italy is considered to be a midfielder's number, which is why I went for it. I don't like high numbers that have no meaning.

Liverpool Tracking Japanese International Keisuke Honda

Reports emanating from Holland link Japan midfielder with Premier League...

VVV Venlo chairman Hai Berden has revealed that several top European clubs have expressed an interest in signing Keisuke Honda, according to a report on

Honda is highly-rated in Holland, winning the MVP award in Eerste Divisie last season, and starting life in the Eredivisie with three goals in two games.

"A number of top clubs are interested in Honda. Some of them are participating in the Champions League this year." Berden told Algemeen Dagblad.

Liverpool scouts have been watching the free-scoring midfielder for some time, and Honda has admitted in the past that a move to the Premier League would interest

"Playing in a league as prestigious as the Premiership would be a dream," Honda stated previously.

"I would seriously consider any offers that come my way."

Owen Watson,

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