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Tokyo Verdy has signed Cameroon striker and former J. League star Patrick Mboma on a deal running through Jan. 31, 2004, officials of the first-division club said Thursday.

In a highly successful first spell in the J. League in 1997-1998, Mboma scored 29 times for Gamba Osaka in 34 league games and also picked up the J. League’s top-scorer award in 1997.

He went on to win an Olympic gold medal with Cameroon in 2000 and also played in the 2002 World Cup, scoring one goal.

“Japan served as the springboard for my international career and I’ve had dreams about playing here again. I think I’ll be able to show fans how much I have developed as a player,” Mboma said in a club statement.

Mboma joined Libyan club Al Ittihad last summer from Italian first-division side Parma after a disappointing 2002 season, during which he spent three months on loan at English club Sunderland.

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