OFC - CHRISTIAN KAREMBEU ARRIVES IN NEW ZEALAND
The former international midfielder - who won 53 caps for France - arrived in New Zealand yesterday to help launch the 2007 OFC Champions League.
Karembeu was born in New Caledonia on December 3rd, 1970, and played club football for AS Magenta before taking up a contract in the French First Division with Nantes FC. Karembeu helped Nantes FC secure a league championship before he gained a transfer to Serie A with Sampdoria.
Karembeu's successes with the French international side led to a transfer to Real Madrid and UEFA Champions League success. He then joined Bryan Robson at FA Premiership club Middlesbrough.
Karembeu continued his winning ways late into his career and won two league championships in Greece with Olympiakos. Karembeu retired in 2005 after short spells with Servette and Bastia.
Since retiring the 35 year old has played an active role in the Oceania Football Confederation as a FIFA and OFC Ambassador for the game. Earlier in 2006, Karembeu joined OFC President Reynald Temarii at the Pacific Youth Festival and met with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community to discuss issues such as literacy, health and education with Director-General Dr. Jimmie Rodgers.
"These challenges are very important to the people of the South Pacific and football can be used to help the young people of the region to improve their lives. I am very happy to be involved with the Oceania Football Confederation in this cause", Karembeu said.
Karembeu will be on hand to help launch the new OFC Champions League competition in Auckland next week and will appear on Sky TV's World of Football alongside Fred de Jong and Dennis Katsanos.
Exact details of the OFC Champions League launch will be made public in the next 24 hours.