Fulham midfielder Bryan Ruiz has tonight completed his widely-anticipated move to Sporting Lisbon, for a fee believed to be around €2m.
The Costa Rican international has signed a three-year contract with the Portuguese club and successfully passed a medical yesterday in California, where he is currently preparing for the Gold Cup with his international team-mates. Fulham took up the option of adding another year onto Ruiz’s contract this summer in the hope of attracting a fee for the former FC Twente playmaker’s services and concluded protracted negotiations with Sporting last week.
Ruiz, who had been jettisoned from the first team by Felix Magath, was recalled to senior side by Kit Symons once the former under-21 coach took charge of the first team in September. He finished last season, which was interrupted by injury and a transfer saga towards the end of the January window, with eight goals in his 33 appearances. The 29 year-old largely struggled to replicate the form that saw him help Twente win their first Dutch title under Steve McClaren in England but there were fleeting glimpses of his undoubted talent, including two sensational goals against Everton and Bolton Wanderers at Craven Cottage.
Ruiz also starred for his country at the 2010 World Cup in Brazil, where Costa Rica progressed to the quarter finals before being knocked out by Louis van Gaal’s Holland. Once a target for the boo boys at Craven Cottage, Ruiz was afforded a rapturous ovation by the home crowd when he was substituted towards the end of Fulham’s final home game of last season against Middlesbrough. He leaves the club having scored thirteen goals in 107 appearances.