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The Toe Poke
By ESPN Staff

Oddo reluctantly leaves San Siro for Bayern

AC Milan defender Massimo Oddo admitted the decision to leave the San Siro was a tough one after joining Bayern Munich on a one-year loan deal.

The Italy international has moved to the German champions until the end of the season, when the Bundesliga side will have the option to sign him on a permanent basis.

A statement from Milan read: 'Massimo Oddo will play next season at Bayern Munich on a one-year loan deal.'

Right-back Oddo, a member of the Italy squad which won the World Cup in 2006, only rejoined Milan - the club where he started his career - from Lazio in January 2007.

He said: 'I temporarily leave the team where I always dreamt of playing for since I was a child.

'This difficult decision was taken with a total agreement with the club. I wish all my team-mates plenty of success.'

The signing of Oddo will reinforce Bayern's backline following a long-term injury to Willy Sagnol and Marcell Jansen's departure to Hamburg.

Frenchman Sagnol underwent surgery on an Achilles tendon injury earlier this month, while Jansen agreed a switch to the HSV Arena on Wednesday.

Bayern coach Jurgen Klinsmann claimed the capture of Oddo would be 'a huge boost for our squad'.

The former Germany boss told Bayern's official website: 'Massimo Oddo is a type of player who can cover the whole right flank.

'He will greatly increase out quality because of his experience and his tactical and technical abilities.'

Klinsmann revealed he had been looking at Oddo for some time.

'We have had Massimo Oddo in our sights for a long time,' he said. 'We have the chance to get him, and now we have used it.'

Oddo will be the second Italy international at the Allianz Arena, joining striker Luca Toni.

The 32-year-old was a member of the Milan side which beat Liverpool in the Champions League final in 2007.

But he missed out on a place in Roberto Donadoni's Euro 2008 squad with a knee injury.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge welcomed Oddo's arrival, saying: 'We are happy to sign an experienced and successful defender in Massimo Oddo so quickly.

'A further World Cup and Champions League winner in the ranks of Bayern will stand us in good stead for the tasks that await us.'

Oddo was a member of the Milan side which knocked Bayern out of the Champions League last season.

Bayern midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger said: 'I know him from our game against Milan last year and also from the national team. He was not easy to play against, he is full of running.

'He has certain qualities that we could really do with. I see it as positive that Bayern has signed such a player.'

Oddo is unlikely to make his Bayern debut against Hertha Berlin this Sunday but should feature in the first game back after the international break, away to Cologne on September 13.


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