Melbourne Victory have signed Bundesliga-winning defender Matthieu Delpierre as the club continues to reinforce ahead of the 2014-15 A-League season.
The 33-year-old centre-back is a direct replacement for Pablo Contreras, who retired from professional football after one campaign with Victory last term.
Unlike the former Chile international though, who joined the club as international marquee, Delpierre will be paid under the salary cap.
The Frenchman began his career with Lille, where he won Ligue 2, before playing for Stuttgart and Hoffenheim, lifting the Bundesliga title with the former in 2006-07.
He spent the second half of last season on loan with Socceroos Tommy Oar and Adam Sarota at FC Utrecht.
"Matthieu is a proven performer with experience at the highest level against some of the best strikers in Europe, so we know he has what it takes to be successful in the A-League," Muscat said in a statement.
"I've certainly been tracking Matthieu's progress over the past season and have been itching to get him to join us in the A-League, so now I am thrilled we are able to have a Bundesliga winner with us in our 10th anniversary season.
"He will provide real quality to our squad, while also imparting his football knowledge on to the younger players. It's also a bonus that he will be with us for pre-season and can be part of our FFA Cup campaign.
"We know he will have a big impact when we get underway in October, but first of all we're looking forward to welcoming him to Australia and helping him settle here in Melbourne."
Delpierre, who briefly captained Stuttgart, represented France at Under-18, Under-20 and Under-21 level, as well earning a cap for Les Blues' B team, without making a full international appearance.
"I am really excited about playing in Australia and I’ve already heard so many great things about the fans and the club," he said.
"I know moving to the A-League will be a big challenge, but it is one that I am really happy about and I can’t wait to get started with Kevin and all the Melbourne Victory players."comments