• New signing ... Sydney's latest addition Richard Garcia (Getty)
Sydney FC's newest recruit Richard Garcia said he could not resist the temptation of playing alongside such a superstar as Alessandro Del Piero when he joined the club.
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16 Aug 2013 - 10:56 AM  UPDATED 16 Aug 2013 - 4:39 PM

The Australia midfielder signed a one-year deal with the two-time A-League champion on Friday.

It will be his second season in Australia after he played for Melbourne Heart in 2012-2013 after a long stint in English football that took him to the Premier League with West Ham United and Hull City.

Having failed to successsfully negotiate another deal with Heart, Garcia said he was looking forward to being a team-mate of Italian World Cup star Del Piero, whom he regards as the most famous player he will play with in his career.

"Playing for a big club like Sydney and with Del Piero is an exciting prospect," Garcia, 31, said.

"It is a great opportunity to play alongside such a great player.

"He's probably the highest profile team-mate I will ever have."

Garcia, who will join his new team-mates at training when they return home from the pre-season tour of northern Italy, spoke about his ambitions for the season at club and national level.

What made you choose Sydney?

"Sydney is a very big and well established club. Its squad is full of good players and it also has a great supporter base. This makes it all very exciting for me."

So it would not have taken you too much time to say yes to Sydney.

"Straight away I became thrilled when I knew that Sydney were interested in taking me on. When a club like Sydney comes knocking you think about it but don't have to think too hard and you can't say no."


You were linked with Newcastle this week. What was the level of the Jets' interest?

"Yes, there was interest from the Jets. But nothing really came of it mainly because I came on the market late after Heart lost interest. So the timing was not the best, if nothing else."

You are behind your future team-mates in terms of pre-season preparation. Do you feel you might be under pressure to start in the first two or three weeks of the A-League?

"Yes and no. I mean, for most of my career my pre-season consisted of six or seven weeks. So with the league to start on 11 October, which is eight weeks away, I feel I will be more than capable of being ready."

With all respect to Melbourne Heart, will playing for Sydney increase the scrutiny on you and add to the pressure to perform?

"That's true but this is something most players thrive on. We like playing under the pressure of expectation. So for me it will be a good challenge."

You are a right-sided midfielder-cum-attacker. Has Frank Farina indicated to you where or how you will be used this season?

"I don't really know yet. I think it will be a matter of Frank making a decision after I start training. It also will depend on the shape of the side. It might be a few weeks into training before I now where I will be playing."

Brett Emetton would love to have a regular role in the centre of the pitch so you can slot into his old role on the right.

"I played in several positions last year with Heart so I will be happy to play wherever Frank wants me to, it's no problem. I will be giving my best as always."

Would playing for Sydney, and alongside Del Piero, boost your chances of making the Australia squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup?

"I would not have a clue, to be honest. The selectors know pretty well what I can do so I do not know. For me it's about playing well in the season and if selection comes I would take it with open arms. Doing the job for Sydney is my priority at the moment."

Sydney's squad is more experienced than that of Heart. Does this mean that fans will see you perform better this season?

"I definitely think fans have not seen my best yet. It had nothing to do with Heart but all to do with me finding my feet in a new league. I've got a season behind me now so, yes, I am keen to do even better."