John Aloisi has officially welcomed Australia great Vince Grella to Melbourne Heart, describing him a "great role model" for the club.
The 33-year-old former Blackburn Rovers defensive midfielder joins the club on a one-season deal and will wear the No. 31 jersey.
Grella was in the engine room of the Socceroos' Golden Generation, playing 46 times for his country, and was a pivotal figure at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi is confident Grella will make a significant and far-reaching impact on the club.
"Vince is one of the greatest Australian footballers of the modern era and it was an honour to play alongside him for so long," Aloisi said.
"Our young players will have the opportunity to learn from one of the best professionals Australia has produced, so independent of any on-field contribution Vince will leave an important legacy.
"As a club, we want to challenge for the championship and bringing in a player of Vince's calibre is clear evidence that this is an important goal for our club.
“We know his qualities as a footballer and are committed to working with him to get his match fitness right."
Aloisi is convinced Grella will be a perfect fit for Melbourne Heart.
"Vince is humble, hard-working and wants to be the best at whatever he does.
“This is the approach to football that we encourage from all of our players so he will be a great role model for them."
Grella returns to Melbourne after forging a distinguished 13-year career in the world of international club football.
Leaving the National Soccer League as a teenager, Grella spent a decade in the Serie A, where he captained Parma in 2006, before earning a move to Blackburn Rovers in the English Premier League.
Internationally, Grella represented Australia with distinction at almost all levels, wearing the Green and Gold at an Under-20 World Cup (1999), the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the AFC Asian Cup (2007) and at two World Cups (2006 and 2010).
Grella was the only Australian named in the FIFA Team of the Tournament preliminary squad for his efforts in 2006.
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