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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep, 1, 2006

Red Star unveil new signings Ailton and Castillo

BELGRADE, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade landed Brazilian striker Ailton and Ecuador international midfielder Segundo Castillo minnutes before the transfer deadline on Thursday midnight.

Aitlon and Castillo were presented to the media on Friday after signing two-year contracts with Red Star, who are second in the Serbian first division and face Czech side Slovan Liberec in the UEFA Cup first round.

'This is part of the effort to fill the gaps created by the players who left and I think we are doing a good job,' Red Star president Dragan Stojkovic told a news conference.

'I hope our fans will have plenty to cheer about and it's now up to coach Dusan Bajevic when the new acquisitions will make their debuts,' he said.

Red Star have been depleted by the recent departure of seven Serbia internationals and Stojkovic believes 33-year old Ailton will be a welcome addition up front.

'We have signed a top class striker. I am convinced he will be a joy to watch and raise the performance level of the entire team,' he said.

Ailton, who won a league and cup double with Werder Bremen in 2004 and is one of only three foreign players to have scored more than 100 goals in the Bundesliga, said he hoped to enhance his silverware collection at Red Star.

'I heard Red Star is a great club. My objective is to win more trophies here and raise my game back to the level of my Bundesliga days,' he told reporters.

'I need to start training immediately to boost my fitness but I can't promise how many goals I will score this season.'

Ailton won the German Player of the Year award and finished as the Bundesliga's top scorer with 28 goals in 2004, his final and best season at Werder followed by a downward career turn.

He managed 14 goals in 28 games for Schalke in the 2004-05 season, only four at Turkish first division side Besiktas and just two after moving back to Germany in January for a sixth-month spell with Hamburg.

Defensive midfielder Castillo, who has scored one goal in 14 appearances for Ecuador and played for them in the 2006 World Cup, was delighted with his own move.

'I want to live up to the expectations of the people who placed their faith in me here I hope to win many trophies with Red Star,' he said.

Red Star also signed Serbia midfielder Aleksandar Trisovic from Ukrainean side Kryvbas Jryvyi Rih on Monday.

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