Matthieu Delpierre says the seal of approval from Socceroos Adam Sarota and Tommy Oar helped to convince him to join Melbourne Victory.
The experienced French defender was officially unveiled as a Victory player at AAMI Park on Thursday after agreeing a one-year deal with Kevin Muscat's side.
Out of favour at Bundesliga club Hoffenheim last season, the 33-year-old spent the second half of 2013-14 on loan at Eredivisie side Utrecht.
And the two former Brisbane Roar men apparently made a strong case in favour of making the move to Melbourne.
"I played with Tommy Oar and Adam Sarota in Utrecht," he said.
"We talked about Australia, the A-League and I thought for me it could be a big life experience to come here.
"He said the league is growing ever year. It's a good league. You can see a lot of players want to come.”
A Bundesliga winner with Stuttgart in 2006-07, Delpierre has taken on the likes of Lionel Messi in the UEFA Champions League.
But he won't be short of challenges as he embarks on a new chapter in his career, with a certain Spanish striker at cross-town rivals Melbourne City certain to prove a tough opponent."It's very exciting for everyone," he said.
"David Villa is a big player, for me too it's a good motivation to play against a big player. And it's good for the A-League to have a player like this.”
The new signing may have caused some fans to do a double take, such is the similarity of his surname to recently departed Sydney FC star Alessandro Del Piero.
"We are cousins," Delpierre joked when asked about the coincidence, while Football Operations Manager Paul Trimboli suggested the new man could be nicknamed 'MDP'.
But Victory fans shouldn't expect to see their rugged new defender pulling the strings in attacking midfield next season.
"You cannot compare (us), he's a legend in Italy, a big player," Delpierre said.
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