French-Moroccan defender Adil Rami has signed a contract to join Spanish football team Valencia on a four-and-a-half year contract. However, he will remain with his current team, French side Lilles, on loan for the rest of this season. Lilles currently sits in first place in the French Ligue 1 and needs his services for their title quest. Aston Villa and Liverpool, both of the English Premier League, were also reportedly vying for his services. The arranged transfer fee is speculated as being just over five million dollars.
The 25-year-old originally joined Lilles in 2007, and has been a regular part of their defense ever since. A central defender, Rami is known for his brawn and his free kicks. And for whatever reason, he is popularly known by the nickname â€œShrek.â€ He is to join his new Valencia colleagues in July. Ramiâ€™s play has also caught the attention of new French national coach Laurent Blanc, who handed Rami his international cap this past August, followed by five subsequent appearances on the national team, as France looks to find the players that will make up the fiery phoenix that rises from the ashes of the 2010 French World Cup squad.