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Switzerland striker Yakin signs for Qatar

Hakan Yakin, a key member of the Swiss national football team, has signed for Qatar champion Al-Gharafa.

Al-Gharafa has reportedly offered a transfer fee of SFr4 million (US$3.9 million) for the 31-year-old captain of the Bern Young Boys team.

Yakin shot all three of Switzerland’s goals at the Euro 2008 Championship last month.

His three-goal tally made him one of the leading scorers at the competition. Top was David Villa of Spain who scored four times for the eventual champions. Three other players also had three goals.

Yakin was the leading scorer in the Swiss league last season.

“I’ve heard a lot about the good level of Qatar League especially with a lot of stars playing in Qatar. That is why I preferred Al Gharafa’s offer to other offers from England and France,’ said the 31-year-old at a news conference in Doha.

Yakin has also played for Swiss sides FC Basel, Grasshoppers and St Gallen as well as had spells abroad with Stuttgart and Galatasaray.

Qatar has become a popular football destination for international players nearing the end of their careers, such as former France captain Marcel Desailly.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR