International

Fener hope for Van Persie effect

2015-07-28 09:06
Robin van Persie received a hero's welcome at Fenerbahce (Twitter)

Paris - The marquee signing of Robin van Persie has underlined Fenerbahce's determination to compete with the best in Europe again, but they face a tough task just to make it beyond the Champions League third qualifying round.

The Istanbul giants host Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg at the Sukru Saracoglu stadium on Tuesday as they return to European competition having served a two-year ban for their involvement in match-fixing.

Fener are looking to return to the group stage of the Champions League for the first time since the 2008-09 season and have splashed the cash in an attempt to make their mark abroad and at home, where they will bid to wrestle the title back from bitter rivals Galatasaray.

Portuguese former Porto coach Vitor Pereira has been brought in to oversee a squad that will include Van Persie and Nani - both signed from Manchester United for a total of €10.7 million.

Denmark defender Simon Kjaer, from Lille, and Brazil midfielder Souza, from Sao Paulo, have also come in and last season's leading scorer Moussa Sow remains.

However, Van Persie has only just begun pre-season training so he may have to wait to make an impact.

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