Socceroo great Tim Cahill will play in the A-League next season after signing a two-year deal with Melbourne City, the club announced on Thursday.
The contract sees Cahill return to Australia, where he will spend the first two years of a three-year deal with City Football Group (CFG) playing for Melbourne City and the third as a part of CFG’s coaching staff.
Cahill arrives following a two-year stint in China, where he played for Shanghai Shenua and Hangzhou Greentown.
The 36-year-old had previously spent three seasons at New York Red Bulls in the MLS after his eight-year run at Premier League club Everton came to an end.
Cahill has long been linked with a move to the A-League, but has criticised Football Federation Australia’s “vision” for the game in the past.
But with his playing career winding to a close, Australia’s all-time leading goalscorer said it was time to finally play domestic football in his homeland.
“I am incredibly excited to have signed with Melbourne City and ultimately the City Football Group. There is real ambition and purpose here, qualities that are immensely important to me,” he said in a statement issued by the club.
“The club is completely attuned to the opportunity for the game in this country; investing significantly in facilities, the development of young players and in giving back at the grassroots level.
“For me that makes this the ideal place to be. I am here to contribute as much as I can to both the club and, where possible, to the further development of football here in Australia.
“My immediate focus is on getting to know my team-mates and our pre-season preparations. I’m excited about the quality of the squad that I am joining and the opportunity to win silverware. I’m looking forward to the challenge of testing and proving myself in this league.”