GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany --

Brazilian defender Naldo is joining Schalke on a free transfer from Bundesliga rival Wolfsburg.

Schalke says the 33-year-old Naldo is signing a two-year deal through June 2018 with the option to extend.

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Schalke's new sporting director Christian Heidel says, ''once we heard Naldo was available, we immediately worked on the transfer. It was extremely important to win such an experienced player for a young, talented team full of potential, such as the one we have.''

Naldo played 173 Bundesliga games for Werder Bremen after joining from Juventude Caxias do Sul in 2005. He helped the side win the German Cup in 2009. He joined Wolfsburg in 2012, scoring 16 goals in 125 league games and winning the German Cup again in 2015.

Naldo has made four appearances for Brazil.