LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portuguese club Benfica signed World Cup winner Julian Draxler on a one-year loan deal from Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday.

The 28-year-old midfielder helped Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

“Benfica is a big club, it has great history,” Draxler said. “I was struggling for game time in Paris, to be honest. I think (Benfica) is the perfect club for me to play good football.”

Benfica, one of Portugal’s most traditional clubs along with Porto, also reached a one-year deal with American free agent John Brooks.

The move will help the 29-year-old defender contend for a spot on the U.S. World Cup roster as he will be playing at a club with a high defensive line similar to what coach Gregg Berhalter uses in the U.S. national team.

Berhalter had said Brooks was at a disadvantage while playing with German club Wolfsburg, which used a different system defensively.


“I’m very happy to be here, to play in front of you guys as soon as possible,” he said in a brief message to Benfica fans on Twitter.

Brooks played for Hertha Belin from 2012-17 before joining Wolfsburg. He scored a tiebreaking goal in the 86th minute against Ghana in the group stage of the 2014 World Cup and has three goals in 45 international appearances.

Draxler also used to play for Wolfsburg.


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