Date: 28th February 2008 at 4:50pm
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Olof Mellberg has explained the reason for his free summer switch to Italian Giants, Juventus.

Speaking to the Evening Mail our former captain and bearded wonder explained that once the opportunity to move to Juve surfaced he couldn’t in good conscious turn such a move down at this stage in his career.

‘Sooner or later the time comes to leave all clubs and for me this is the right time. When the chance came to join Juventus I knew it would be the right choice.

‘They are one of the more prestigious clubs in the world and they have watched me a lot, for Sweden and for Villa.

‘I knew Claudio Ranieri from when I played in Spain and I am happy to have the opportunity to play Champions League football – it is something I could not turn down.’

Sounds like Juve have been circling for a while, but nobody can fault Mellberg’s effort or desire for us. He’s been one of our most consistent performers, and has done a solid job at right back for O’Neill this season.

It’s still a shame to see him go, but even our all our wishes come true this season we will be in the UEFA Cup, and not the Champions League so as he enters the twilight of his top level career you would be hard pushed to criticised a last blast for the highest success. He has a chance to achieve that with Juve, he wouldn’t with us for another couple of years.