PERTH Glory today confirmed they had agreed terms with French veteran defender William Gallas to join the A-League club for the rest of this season.
The former Arsenal skipper, who appeared in two World Cups, two European Championships and won back-to-back English Premier League titles with Chelsea, will become the first Frenchman ever to play in the Hyundai A-League.
Gallas’s Australian based agent said William had a number of offers from clubs in Middle East and East Asia as well as the MLS but chose to don the Purple and White colours of Perth Glory FC.
“This is a credit to the A-league on how far it's come since its inaugural season and the profile of a club such as Perth Glory and the people behind the scenes that make this a great club,” he said.
“I would like to thank the club on the professionalism it has shown throughout discussions with myself and my representatives and the people who made it happen in Australia.”
Gallas was equally as optimistic about the new relationship.
“After speaking to Alistair Edwards and Jason Brewer, the passion and ambition in the voices of both gentlemen enticed me to this new challenge in Australia," said Gallas via his agent.
"I look forward to wearing with pride the Jersey of Perth Glory for this season. I hope to help my new team mates and club achieve success in this season and hope to help deliver to the fans of Perth the championship they are looking for.
"I look forward to this new challenge and hope to excite the fans."
Perth Glory CEO Jason Brewer was ecstatic to finally confirm an agreement had been reached with Gallas after weeks of negotiations.
“I’m absolutely delighted that Perth Glory has been able to attract someone of William Gallas’s quality," he said. "It demonstrates the growing reputation of the Hyundai A-League and its ability to attract world class players.
“William Gallas has played at the highest level in some of the most intense rivalries in the world, so the leadership he can provide to our up-and-coming younger players will be invaluable.
“We’re still keen to develop the best talent in Australia at Perth Glory and we think the best way to excel at that is by adding quality senior players to our roster.
“Gallas certainly fits that requirement."
Coach Alistair Edwards was also delighted to welcome Gallas to the Perth Glory fold.
“What better player in world football to bring to Western Australia than someone with 84 caps for one of the best footballing nations in the world?” he said.
“He has played alongside some of the best players in world football and worked under some of the most decorated managers and coaches of all time, including Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho, people whom I have the utmost respect for.
“I have spoken to William about the proud history of our club and that we have the league’s best and most passionate fans.
“Equally importantly, we have discussed our vision and philosophy and the values that are driving the club forward.
“Gallas fits into our vision of providing the best environment for our youth to flourish.
"He knows that he is coming into a wonderful culture built around great experienced players and some of the most talented young players in Australian football.
“On a personal level I am looking forward to sitting down with William over the next eight months to extract every piece of knowledge about his experiences with the French National Football Academy at Clairfontaine and the French National team, his time at Marseilles, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham and whatever he can share about working with the greatest managers in world football over the past decade,” Edwards said.
Head of the A-League, Damien de Bohun, congratulated Perth Glory on bringing someone of Gallas’ stature and experience to the competition.
“William Gallas is a fantastic addition to the Hyundai A-League and I would like to congratulate Perth Glory for continuing our recent record of bringing world class marquee players to the competition,” said de Bohun.
“He has played at the highest level at World Cups and the English Premier League and I’m sure football fans all over the country will look forward to watching him in action.”