MELBOURNE Heart today revealed they had signed Brazilian forward Alex Barbosa de Azevedo Terra on a multi-year deal to bring some samba flair to the fledgling club.
Known as Alex Terra, the 27-year-old has signed from Brazilian top flight football, becoming the side's second ever foreign signing, following the capture of former Dutch youth international Rutger Worm.
A versatile attacker who can lead the line, play out wide or as a shadow striker, Terra achieved his greatest success with South American giants Fluminense, claiming the Rio de Janeiro State championship in 2002 and 2005, completing the latter campaign as his club's top scorer.
Head Coach John van ‘t Schip was impressed by Terra after watching the Rio de Janeiro born star in action during his recent scouting trip to South America, immediately moving to secure his services for the Heart's inaugural Hyundai A-League campaign.
Van ‘t Schip is confident Terra possesses the necessary qualities to make a significant impact and aid building a highly competitive squad.
"I think it is important for Melbourne Heart FC to have a mix of different sorts of players- different nationalities, different qualities, different ages- but players who all want to play good football and win," he said.
"The club is fortunate to have recruited a South American player like Alex Terra, of such quality and of a good age, who is keen to play in Melbourne.
"He has a great first touch, great pace and an eye for goal, while most importantly, he is extremely versatile and capable of playing anywhere across the attacking line."
Alex Terra's performances with Fluminense won him a transfer to Portugal's Nacional before returning to his homeland where he signed for Ponte Preta in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série B, scoring a stunning 19 times in 24 games to earn a return to the top flight with Goias.
The diminutive front man recently completed a stint with Rio Branco in the Campeonato Paulista, the leading State Championship in the Brazilian football system featuring the likes of Ronaldo's Corinthians and Sao Paolo, scoring against giants Palmeiras in March to confirm his undoubted talent.