Newcastle Jets have signed 22-year-old Brazilian attacking midfielder Bernardo Ribeiro.
The 22-year-old, who also holds an Italian passport, is a product of the youth system of Brazilian giants Flamengo and has also spent time with Italian Serie A Club Catania.
Ribeiro was most recently with Albanian side Skënderbeu Korçë where he played in UEFA Champions League qualifying matches and was a key member of their team that won the 2011/12 Albanian Superliga title.
Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond said he was very pleased to have secured the services of Ribeiro for the 2012/13 A-League season.
“His junior football was at Flamengo and he’s obviously been really well schooled over there,” van Egmond said.
“He was at Catania for six months and it was only because of a couple of issues with his work permit that he wasn’t able to play much there.
“He’ll get a good part of the pre-season with us which is excellent for him to have a chance to see how we do things and for us to see how we can best utilise him.
“All our discussions with Bernardo have been very positive and he is an ambitious player who is coming here with exactly the right mentality.”
Van Egmond said Ribeiro would help give the Jets a creative spark in the attacking third of the pitch.
“He’s able to beat people in a one-on-one in the middle of the park or in a wide area and he definitely has a point of difference,” van Egmond said.
“He’s exactly what we were looking for to add to what we have already as far as our squad is concerned.”