Victory sign French defender

Experienced French defender Matthieu Delpierre will call Melbourne home for the next year, with Melbourne Victory confirming it has signed the 33-year-old defender to a one-year-deal.

At six-foot-four inches tall, Delpierre has proven himself as a commanding centre-back of the highest quality, having played 162 games with VfB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga, including leading the club to the League title in 2006/07 as captain, before most recently making an impact in Holland’s Eredevisie with FC Utrecht in the latter part of last season.   Melbourne Victory Coach Kevin Muscat said Delpierre’s time in Europe would add invaluable experience and leadership to his squad, having such a strong European football background, including captaining his club in the UEFA Champions League against some of the biggest football names, including Lionel Messi.   “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.   “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."   The Frenchman joins star striker Besart Berisha and midfielder Carl Valeri as new additions to Victory’s 2014/15 squad.   Delpierre said he was looking forward to making the move to Melbourne.   “I am really excited about playing in Australia and I’ve already heard so many great things about the fans and the Club,” Delpierre 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."   Matthieu Delpierre DOB: April 26, 1981 Height: 193cm (6’ 4”) Position: Centre-back Previous clubs: FC Utrecht (Netherlands) - 2014 TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (Germany) - 2012 – 2014 VfB Stuttgart (Germany) - 2004 – 2012 Lille (France) - 1999 – 2004
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