Iraq's Akram signs for Twente

Iraqi star Nashat Akram has signed a three-year deal with Dutch club Twente, runners-up in this year's league title, according to the player's personal website.

The promising midfielder with 75 international caps is the first Iraqi player to join the Dutch league and only the second to play in Europe after Hawar Mulla Mohammed Taher Zeebari joined Cypriot club Anorthosis Famagusta.

Akram, 24, a key playmaker in Iraq's dramatic victory in the 2007 AFC Asia Cup, previously played for Qatari club Al-Gharrafa and last year was on trial at Manchester City but was denied a work permit by the British government.

After a year with United Arab Emirates club Al-Ain in 2007, he was linked to Sunderland before signing this month with former England manager Steve McClaren's side.

"This is a dream come true, to play in Europe. FC Twente is a good club with a big coach," Akram said.