Match fitness woe for Civelli

NEW signing Luciano Civelli last night admitted he was woefully short of match fitness and is unlikely to be included in the side to play Plymouth.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

NEW signing Luciano Civelli last night admitted he was woefully short of match fitness and is unlikely to be included in the side to play Plymouth.

Although John Gorman, in the absence of Jim Magilton at the press conference to unveil the Argentinean, said they would leave it until late, Civelli may have to wait to make his Ipswich Town debut.

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Civelli said: “I have not played a game for six or seven weeks. I started pre-season on January 5 but I have not been allowed to do any ball work while the negotiations were going on.

“I have trained with my new team-mates for the first time and I enjoyed it.”

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The 22-year-old completed his move from Sporting Club Banfield in a deal that cost Town an initial �900,000 but could rise to �2m with add-ons.

While the Blues own 100 per cent of his playing registration, his former club are entitled to half of any sell on fee, although Ipswich can buy out that clause in the future.

An admirer of Liverpool's Dutch forward Ryan Babell, the left-footed player who started as a defender and can play up front favours playing wide left in a solid 4-4-2 formation and is comfortable taking on defenders and going past them on the outside before crossing.

The 6'1'' player is nicknamed Lucho, which translates as 'It fights' and believes the English football is similar to what he is sued to in Argentina.

With brother Renato playing for French club Marseille and a close friend playing in Holland, Civelli was keen to play in Europe.

He said: “It has been by dream to play in Europe. The leagues in England, Italy and Spain are the best in the world and I wanted to play in them. I'm happy that it is England.

“I was surprised and excited when I heard an English club wanted to sign me and it was an easy decision to make.”

Civelli admits he had never heard of Ipswich Town before finding out they knew all about him and wanted to sign him.

Nor was he familiar with many of the former town stars, including Adrian Paz and Mauricio Taricco but there was one popular Argentinean he does know about.

He said: “I didn't know who Ipswich were but when I heard they were interested I went on the internet and searched from there.

“I know Sixto Peralta but not Mauricio Taricco.”

Although he only flew into the country at the beginning of the week Civelli has had a good look round and has liked what he has seen of the area.

He said: “I live in a small town, much smaller than this but my first impression is it is very tranquil and relaxed. It has history and has a lot of similarities to my home town in Argentina.”

Civelli has flown in the face of superstition by asking for the number 13 shirt and explained why.

He said: “I like the number because when I was young I also played basketball.

“My favourite player wore the number 13 and so I wore it. I also had by first trial to play football when I was 13 and so since then that has been my favourite number.

“In Argentina it is considered an unlucky number like here in England but in Italy I believe it is seen as a lucky number.”

While Maradonna has not called upon him yet, Civelli has international aspirations although also qualifies for Italy from the paternal grandfather.

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