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FOOTBALL

Gudjohnsen completes Barca switch

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Gudjohnsen scored for Chelsea in their Champions League defeat of Barcelona last year.

MADRID, Spain -- Barcelona have completed the transfer of Iceland forward Eidur Gudjohnsen from Chelsea on a four-year contract.

The European champion gave no details of the fee, but news reports suggested they would pay $15.1 million for Gudjohnsen, who has won back-to-back Premier League titles with Chelsea in the last two seasons.

Gudjohnsen's arrival ends Barcelona's search for a replacement for Sweden striker Henrik Larsson, who will play for his former club Helsingborg next season.

Barcelona revealed that they had lent Argentine striker Maxi Lopez to Mallorca for one year.

Gudjohnsen, who will wear the No. 7 shirt and is the first Icelandic player to join the Catalan club, scored for Chelsea in their 4-2 win over Barcelona in the Champions League second round last year.

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol, who played in Spain's opening World Cup game against Ukraine on Wednesday, welcomed Gudjohnsen's arrival.

"I've played against him and he's a great player. He's fast, quick, scores goals and could be really good for us," Puyol was quoted as saying by sports daily Mundo Deportivo.

Gudjohnsen, who previously played for Bolton, PSV Eindhoven and Reykjavic, is Barcelona's first signing since the club completed one of its most successful seasons by winning the Champions League and Spanish league titles.

The 27-year-old forward, who has been at Chelsea for six years, scored 78 goals in 263 games, but he was edged out when Chelsea recently signed AC Milan's Andriy Shevchenko, Bayern Munich's Michael Ballack and Feyenoord's Salomon Kalou.

Chelsea authorized the player to hold talks with Barcelona and the move was finalized with the help of his father and agent, Arnor Gudjohnsen.

The Gudjohnsens were the first father and son to appear in the same international, although they were not on the field together. Eidur replaced Arnor in the second half of Iceland's game with Estonia in 1996.

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