Soccer / Beitar on Verge of Signing 'El Loco'

Beitar Jerusalem is close to signing Uruguayan Sebastian Abreu, a journeyman striker who has played at 13 clubs in the past 12 years.

Dario Fernandez, Beitar's recently acquired Argentine midfielder, is known as hot-blooded, but Abreu has earned a reputation as a certified maniac. His nickname everywhere he played, from Brazil to Mexico, was "El Loco."

There are other players known by that epithet in the Latin American leagues, but Abreu is arguably the most visible.

And while Fernandez is by no means a bad player, Abreu is a player of a different caliber - one of impressive qualifications, a rare sixth sense for goal-scoring and one capable of breaking through nearly any defense placed before him.

Abreu has played in his home country of Uruguay, in Argentina, Mexico and Spain, and on several occasions gone back to a club at which he had previously played.

The striker is expected to sign for an unprecedented $1 million a season in hope that he can significantly improve Beitar's fortunes in Europe. Sources at the club told Haaretz, "We're talking about an unprecedented figure for an unprecedented player."

Abreu, who currently plays for Argentina's River Plate, has represented his country 41 times, scoring 25 goals.