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TFC Signs French Midfielder

April 2, 2008 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Toronto FC News Release

Toronto FC announced the signing of French midfielder Laurent Robert. The former French international has agreed to terms with Toronto after being freed of his contractual obligations with Derby County of the English Premiership. Per team and league policy no details of the contract were released.

Robert, 32, is a proven veteran with a resume that lists a number of Europe's biggest clubs including Newcastle United, Benfica, and Paris Saint Germain.

We are thrilled to have Laurent join Toronto FC and become part of our club", said manager Mo Johnston. "He's a tremendous player with a lot of talent and we expect him to come in and make an impact with our team straight away. He's played at every level, and is a true professional in every respect."

Robert's biggest career move came when the winger signed with one of England's most storied teams, Newcastle United, where he played under current Toronto FC head coach John Carver.

"I've spent a lot of time with him, and I know a lot about his game," said Carver. "He'll be a big asset to the team, he's got pace, his ability on free kicks is top class and he's a great finisher."

Robert joined the Magpies in 2001 from Paris St. Germain for a fee of 9.5 million pounds and quickly became recognized as having one of the most powerful shots in the league and clinical in dead ball situations. He made 181 appearances (in all competitions) for the club, scoring 32 goals. At Newcastle he participated in a number of big European competitions such as the Champions League, and UEFA Cup qualification.

Robert started his career at Montpellier in 1994 (France, Ligue 1) before making a move to Paris Saint-Germain in 1999. While with PSG he went to the League Cup Finals in 2000. It was not long after he joined PSG that he made his debut for France's National team - August 18, 1999 against Northern Ireland. He was also part of the squad's 2001 FIFA's Confederation Cup victory over Japan. He appeared a total of nine times for France, scoring once in France's 4-0 win over Turkey on November 15, 2000.

Robert will be available for selection for Toronto's game on Saturday against D.C. United, pending the completion of his International Transfer Certificate.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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