Western Sydney Wanderers marquee signing, Federico Piovaccari, isn’t well-known like his fellow Italians who have graced the A-League before him, but what he brings to the club is two seasons in Europe playing at his peak.
“My name is not as renowned as other Italian players like Benito Carbone and Alessandro Del Piero but I’m still hoping I can bring fans joy,” said Piovaccari speaking at a FIFA 16 event in Sydney.
Piovaccari was on the books at Inter Milan and Sampdoria but the striker went back and forth for eight seasons and frustratingly never played a game in the Serie A.
“It was disappointing that I had to go on loan to different leagues, but that’s football, and I am just happy that I have the opportunity to play here in Australia,” he said.
After a career as a journeyman in Serie B he finally got a chance at a European top flight club when he moved to Romania to play for Steau Bucharest.
This brought Champion League football where he scored vital goals in the qualifying ties enabling the Romanian power house club to make it into the group stage.
It was there he played against the likes of FC Schalke, Chelsea and Basel against whom he scored.
“For me it was the best experience in my career,” said Piovaccari describing what it was like to be involved in the pinnacle of European football.
“It was a wonderful competition. It was a much different competition from La Liga or Serie B.
“The Champions League atmosphere is different, and for me it was a dream come true. It was more emotion than any other competition I played.”
After his stint in Romania, where he scored 14 goals in 37 games, he made a move to Spain’s top flight with Basque club Eibar. Regular game time in La Liga brought games against Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valenica and Seville.
“It’s a strong competition and ever since I was a boy I wanted to play against the best players,” he said. “And I am happy I got to play against Messi and Ronaldo.”
The Italian is a classic number nine: fast, hangs around the 18 yard box and can score with his head. He describes himself, with his limited English as an “all-round powerful striker.”
Piovaccari probably had a few years left in Europe but after almost a decade there he wanted a new challenge and says his decision to play in the A-League was based on the legacy of Del Piero and the Wanderers success in Asia.
“I think the A-League is a good league,” he said.
“I was looking at Australian football when Del Piero was playing, and now the A-League is better and well known.
“It’s a new experience for me and my family. I prefer to come to Australia, I’m staying for one year. I spoke with Tony Popovic before I signed and he showed me video of when the Western Sydney Wanderers won the Asian Champions League.”
Piovaccari who will take the No. 9 jersey refused to name an end of season goal tally. Instead, he preferred to focus on arresting the Wanderers struggles of last season.
He added: “I hope to bring my experience and together with the other imports try and make the Wanderers a winning team.
“I don’t have a number of total goals. The most important thing is that we win. I’ve seen footage of the Wanderers fans and I can’t wait to play in front of them.”