BRUNO ALVES became Pedro Caixinha’s first signing this summer after agreeing a two-year deal.
The vastly experienced Portuguese centre half has enjoyed a glittering career at club level and with his national team and will be a leader on the pitch as the Light Blues prepare for a second season back in Scottish football’s top flight.
A player with a strong character and winning mentality, Alves started his career at Porto and had loan spells with Farense, Vitória de Guimarães and AEK Athens before returning to the Dragons and cementing his place in their first team.
From there he bagged nine major honours, including four Primeira Liga titles, before he joined Zenit Saint Petersburg in August 2010 for €22 million.
In Russia he won two Premier League titles and the country’s Super Cup before agreeing to move to Turkish side Fenerbahce in June 2013 for a reported fee of €5.5 million.
And in his first season in Istanbul he enjoyed more success, helping the club win the Super Lig and the Turkish Super Cup after a victory over Galatasaray in August 2014.
Two years later Serie A side Cagliari announced the signing of Alves with a statement which read: “The Rossoblu have ensured the presence on the pitch of a real warrior, who is used to facing the toughest strikers in the world and will bring great aggressiveness, personality, technique and boundless physical power.”
After a year in Italy the 35-year-old will now add Rangers to the impressive list of clubs he has played for and Pedro Caixinha will be delighted to have on board a 6’ 2” defender who has played at the very highest level.
Just 12 months ago Alves – who has made 89 international appearances and scored 11 goals – was in the Portugal squad which won the European Championships in France, his country’s first ever major trophy.
He played in the 2-0 semi-final victory over Wales in the Parc Olympique Lyonnais, taking the place of injured Real Madrid star Pepe.