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By ESPN Staff
Jul 3, 2006

'I've joined Villarreal to win La Liga' - Pires

MADRID, July 3 (Reuters) - French midfielder Robert Pires struck an ambitious note when he was unveiled as a Villarreal player on Monday, saying that the had joined the Primera Liga club to help them win the league title.

'I'm very happy because I've been given the chance to realise a long-held ambition to play in Spanish football,' the 33-year-old told a news conference.

'I've come to Villarreal to win the league. They are a team that have some high-quality players and I think we can do it.'

Pires signed a two-year deal with Villarreal at the end of last season when his contract with Arsenal expired, bringing to an end a successful six-year stint with the Londoners who won two league titles and two FA Cups while he was at the club.

'I consider myself to be a versatile player because I can play on the left, in the middle or on the right,' said Pires. 'English football is more physical and here skills counts for more.'

Villarreal, who reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in their debut season in the competition, finished seventh in the Primera Liga.

They have also recruited Turkish international striker Nihat Kahveci from Real Sociedad and Spanish midfielder Cani from Real Zaragoza during the close season.