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Stakes high for Napoli, Juventus

Juventus
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By ESPN Staff

Coloccini named new skipper

Argentinian defender Fabricio Coloccini has been announced as Newcastle's captain after Kevin Nolan's departure to West Ham United.

• Toon blog: The battle between the sticks

The announcement completes a remarkable transformation for the South American, 29, who arrived on Tyneside in a £10.3 million switch from Deportivo la Coruna in August 2008 during Kevin Keegan's ill-fated second spell in charge at St James' Park.

Coloccini endured an immensely difficult first season in English football which ended with relegation from the Premier League.

However, he rebuilt his reputation in the Championship to the extent that he established himself as a firm favourite with the fans, and a fine first campaign back in the top flight cemented his status as one of the club's more dependable performers.

Coloccini said: ''I am thrilled to be named captain of Newcastle United. It is one of the proudest moments of my career.

''Leading the team out in front of our supporters in our first game against Arsenal will be a great honour for me and I aim to give my best for the team and the supporters throughout the season.

''I would also like to thank [manager] Alan Pardew for putting his faith in me. It means so much to me.''

Manager Alan Pardew said: ''I had no hesitation in choosing Fabricio to be my captain next season.

''He will lead the team in a different manner to Kevin, but his professionalism, attitude, application and fantastic character made him the stand-out candidate and, in my mind, the 100% right decision.''

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