Football: Julio Baptista leaves Malaga, will return to Brazil to play for Cruzeiro

Brazil's soccer player Julio Baptista (left) speaks next to France's Eric Abidal during a news conference before an exhibition game on Tuesday called the Giants Duel: Messi and Friends vs The Rest of The World, in Lima on July 1, 2013. Baptista has a
Brazil's soccer player Julio Baptista (left) speaks next to France's Eric Abidal during a news conference before an exhibition game on Tuesday called the Giants Duel: Messi and Friends vs The Rest of The World, in Lima on July 1, 2013. Baptista has agreed a deal to terminate his contract with Malaga and join Brazilian side Cruzeiro, the Spanish football club confirmed on Wednesday, July 24, 2013. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

MADRID (AFP) - Brazilian forward Julio Baptista has agreed a deal to terminate his contract with Malaga and join Brazilian side Cruzeiro, the Spanish football club confirmed on Wednesday.

"Julio Cesar Baptista and Malaga football club reached a friendly agreement last Friday to rescind the player's contract and allow him to leave the blue and whites," said a statement on the club's website.

"Malaga CF would like to wish the best of luck to the player in his new sporting adventure with Cruzeiro FC in Brazil."

Baptista joined the Andalusians in January 2011 and played a key role in saving Malaga from relegation at the end of the 2011-12 season.

However, the 31-year-old has been blighted by injuries over the past two campaigns and made just 18 appearances last season as Malaga reached the Champions League quarter-finals and finished sixth in the Primera Liga.

Baptista, who started his career at Sao Paulo, returns to Brazil after a 10-year stay in Europe where he also enjoyed spells with Sevilla, Real Madrid, Arsenal and Roma.