Sydney FC has completed the signing of Iranian World Cup striker Reza Ghoochannejhad (PRON: Goo-chan-eh-jad) on a loan deal until the end of the season.
Nicknamed ‘Gucci’, the frontman joins from top Cypriot club APOEL and is in contention to face Melbourne City this Sunday afternoon at Jubilee Stadium in Kogarah (5pm kick off), subject to completion of relevant paperwork.
Ghoochannejhad, who scored Iran’s only goal at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, has had a successful career in Holland, England and Belgium before joining the Cyprus based club.
Born in Iran, the 31-year old emigrated to Holland at an early age, representing the Dutch under 16, 17, 18 and 19 teams before being offered the chance to represent the country of his birth by former Real Madrid Head Coach Carlos Queiroz.
The forward went on to play 44 times for his country scoring 17 goals and twice being selected in Iran’s World Cup squads, before retiring from international football after last year’s tournament in Russia.
“I’m excited to be joining Sydney FC and looking forward to the challenge of the Hyundai A-League and AFC Champions League,” he 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 an unbelievable experience.
“Sydney FC’s record in recent times is phenomenal and they have some fantastic players.
“I can’t wait to link up with my new team-mates, help them add to their success and bring more trophies to the club.”
Ghoochannejhad had two seasons with Charlton Athletic in the English Championship between 2014 and 2016 before moving to Dutch first division club SC Heerenveen where he scored 32 goals in 75 games.
The move to Cyprus followed last year, before this chance to join the Sky Blues.
Head Coach Steve Corica is delighted to get the deal over the line, especially with Ghoochannejhad being able to play as an Asian player in the AFC Champions League.
“Reza is an exciting and attacking striker who will score goals and give us a different option up front,” said Head Coach Steve Corica.
“The fact he qualifies as an Asian player under the AFC Champions League three plus one ruling is going to be a huge benefit to 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.
“He is an intelligent player, with a first-class attitude and an immaculate character, so he will fit into the Sydney FC culture seamlessly.
“He gives us another attacking threat up front in a hugely exciting forward line.”
The Iranian will wear number 16, with 'Reza' printed on the back.