Melbourne Heart FC confirms it has agreed terms with 14-time Dutch International Orlando Engelaar to play for the club in the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League season.
Engelaar will fill Melbourne Heart’s marquee position.
A dominant presence in the centre of midfield, Engelaar, 33, brings a wonderful background to the Heart, having started every match for the Netherlands at the 2008 European Championship and having successful stints at FC Twente, FC Schalke 04 and, most recently, PSV Eindhoven.
At almost two metres, Engelaar combines a dominant athletic presence with the highest levels of technique and quality, making him the ideal midfield general.
Melbourne Heart Head Coach John Aloisi is obviously delighted to bring in a player of such international pedigree and overall football quality.
“I am confident that Orlando will be one of the most accomplished midfielders that has come to play football in Australia,” said Aloisi.
“The Club has worked hard for a number of seasons to attract a player who can dominate and control matches from midfield and we believe that we have found that player.”
“You don’t pull the strings in the midfield for the Dutch national team unless you have some special qualities. We can’t wait for the season to get started and, with this signing, we believe that we have given football fans something to get really excited about.”
Engelaar recently spent a week in Melbourne meeting the Club’s coaches, players and staff before returning to the Netherlands to make a final decision.
“The Club was able to show Orlando around the city and arrange for him to spend some time at training, so he knows the technical level and knows what we as coaches will expect of him”, said Aloisi.
“Meeting Orlando, and hearing his views on football and his motivations for coming to Australia, makes me very excited about the impact he will have on our Club and the Hyundai A-League.”
Engelaar will arrive back in Melbourne late next week when he will immediately commence training upon joining his new team-mates.
Player DetailsName: Orlando Engelaar [Eng-e-laa]Age: 33Height: 1.96mPosition: Central MidfieldFormer Clubs: NAC Breda (94 appearances, 22 goals), Racing Genk (59, 12), FC Twente (56, 8), FC Schalke 04 (36, 0), PSV (75, 6)Dutch National Team: 14 caps (debut in 2007 and final match in 2010).Recent Transfers: €5million in 2008 from FC Twente to Schalke 04; €4million from Schalke 04 to PSV 2009