MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Japan star Keisuke Honda has signed for Melbourne Victory as a marquee player for the club in the 2018-19 Australian A-League season.
The Victory confirmed the signing Monday, making the 32-year-old Japanese international the club’s biggest signing in its 13-year history.
Honda told Fox Sports that he wanted a new challenge, “so I’m satisfied,” to be moving to Australia.
“I checked a couple of things — Melbourne Victory is the most successful club in the A-League … they became champions many times.”
Honda is set to arrive in Melbourne next week after commencing negotiations following Japan’s exit at the World Cup in Russia last month.
Victory coach Kevin Muscat said Honda, who moved from AC Milan to Mexican club Pachuca last year, was a proven performer at the highest level and “we can’t wait to see what he can do in Melbourne.
“He brings world-class ability and offers great flexibility in the front third of the pitch,” Muscat said. “It’s obviously an added benefit to have him a part of our AFC Asian Champions League campaign too.”
Victory will kick off its domestic season on Oct. 20 against Melbourne City.
The deal with Honda involved support from Victory, Football Federation Australia and broadcaster Fox Sports. Details of the contract were not released.