Brisbane Roar have signed Italian Middlesbrough and Empoli veteran Massimo Maccarone as a marquee star for next season, the club confirmed this afternoon.
The deal was announced details leacked out when Empoli's website revealed Maccarone - 38 by the time the season begins - was "preparing to sign" for the Queensland side.
The signing marks a significant in the club's playing style, with an emphasis now firmly on experience over youth.
Maccarone last played for the Empoli as they were relegated to Italy's second tier, after stints at Siena, Sampdoria, Palermo and Middlesbrough. He picked up two caps for Italy in 2002 as a 22 year old.
Roar head coach John Aloisi believes the club’s new marquee will help build positive pre-season momentum as the side prepare for the upcoming campaign.
“We are pleased and excited to welcome a player of Massimo’s calibre to Brisbane,” Aloisi said.
“His playing career is impressive and we are confident that Massimo’s experience at the highest level will strengthen our already talented squad.
“I’m sure our fans will be looking forward to seeing him in action at Suncorp Stadium.”
Maccarone is set to line up alongside fellow new signing Fahid Ben Khalfallah who will be 35 when the season starts, playing in front of Brett Holman (33), Matt McKay (34) and Thomas Kristensen (34).
The backline will be bolstered by Avraam Papadopolous (32) and Jade North (35) with Michael Theo (36) between the sticks, for a potential total of at least nine players over 32 in the line-up.
The signing comes as the club tries to replace young strikers Jamie Maclaren and Brendan Borello, while winger Tommy Oar has also left the club along with veteran playmaker Thomas Broich.