‘Gucci’ brings back the bling as Sydney FC sign Iranian star

‘Gucci’ brings back the bling as Sydney FC sign Iranian star

The Sky Blues on Monday bolstered their squad for the rest of the A-League season after signing Iranian star Reza Ghoochannejhad on loan from APOEL.

As foreshadowed by the Herald as a major boost to Sydney FC’s title hopes and for their forthcoming AFC Champions League campaign, the man nicknamed 'Gucci' is expected to arrive in the harbour city on Wednesday with a CV that includes scoring a goal at the 2014 World Cup.

Brand name: Reza Ghoochannejhad, No.16, celebrates after scoring for Iran at the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia. Credit:Reuters

Should there be no issues with the paperwork, coach Steve Corica plans to have the 31-year-old in the squad for Sunday's clash with Melbourne City.

However, the biggest boon for the club will be having a player of Ghoochannejhad's experience for the champions league.

"I'm excited to be joining Sydney FC and looking forward to the challenge of the Hyundai A-League and AFC Champions League," Ghoochannejhad said.

"To be joining Australia's most successful club is a fantastic move for me, and to test myself against the best in Australia and Asia will be a fantastic experience."

Ghoochannejhad's arrival follows a career that includes a three-year stint with SC Heerenveen in the Eredivisie, where he scored 27 goals in 67 matches.

The Iranian is also a former Dutch youth international, but was lured back to the country of his birth by former Real Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz.

Elite company: Ghoochannejhad tries to stop Argentina’s Lionel Messi at the 2014 World Cup.Credit:AFP

He scored a total 17 goals in 44 appearances for Iran before retiring from international football after last year's World Cup in Russia, where he failed to play a minute.

It is believed pre-season talks with Sydney FC on a marquee deal fell through last year, before he went on to sign a two-year contract with APOEL in Cyprus.

However, negotiations started again when Ghoochannejhad went in search for more game time, and this time the A-League heavyweights got their man.

"Reza is an exciting and attacking striker who will score goals and give us a different option up front," Corica said.

"The fact that he qualifies as an Asian player under the AFC Champions League three-plus-one ruling is going to be a huge benefit for us and vital to our challenge for the trophy.

"We've had our eye on him for a while and when the opportunity came up to sign him, we didn't hesitate."


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