Bobo returns as Sydney FC aim for three-peat

Brazilian striker Bobo in action for Sydney FC. Source: Getty Images

Sydney FC's bid for a historic A-League three-peat has been given a massive boost after they lured Brazilian star Bobo back to the club.

Bobo scored 42 goals across 57 A-League games for the Sky Blues between 2016-2018, making him the league's leader in goals per game (0.737).

The 35-year-old's return will add major firepower to Sydney's already star-studded squad as the club aims for its third consecutive A-League title.

Bobo has arrived in Australia and is currently quarantining, but he's expected to be out in time for Sydney's derby clash with the Wanderers on January 16.

"I enjoyed every moment of my time at Sydney FC, we had a hugely successful two seasons and I want that again," Bobo said.

"The club has hardly missed a beat since, winning both A-League titles and the Premiers Plate and I can't wait to go for three in a row."

Bobo scored an astounding 27 goals in 27 A-League games in 2017-18, and Sydney coach Steve Corica is thrilled to have the prolific goalscorer as part of his arsenal.

"His goalscoring record is phenomenal and it means we've now got excellent competition for places among our strikers," Corica said of Bobo, who played in Turkey, India, and Brazil after leaving Sydney in 2018.

"The experience he brings will also benefit our young forwards who we want to develop, and they will learn a huge amount from him.

"I've no doubt we'll see plenty of goals when he plays as he is a proven scorer and will get plenty of service."

Sydney's powerful squad have again been installed as title favourites, and their campaign will begin against Wellington Phoenix at WIN Stadium in Wollongong on Saturday.

While some teams like to play down the chance of creating new records, Corica is embracing the opportunity to notch the A-League's first ever three-peat.

"That's one way that we're motivating the players. That's something that would be very special - no other club has done it in the A-League," Corica said.

"That's the motivation, that's a very good challenge for us. But I think it's business as normal (because) we go into every season wanting to win trophies."

The Phoenix finished third on the ladder last season, but they've been widely tipped to miss the finals this campaign after losing a host of key players.

Steven Taylor, Gary Hooper, Liberato Cacace, Callum McCowatt, and Callan Elliot were among the departures.

Making life even more difficult is the fact Wellington have been forced to base themselves in Australia indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

They are currently based in Wollongong.

STATS THAT MATTER

*Sydney have won nine of their past 12 A-League games against Wellington, and are undefeated in their past five games against them (W4, D1)

*This will be only the second A-League fixture at WIN Stadium. Sydney FC and Newcastle played out a 0-0 draw there in 2015

*Sydney goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne had a save percentage of 79.7 per cent last season - the best by any goalkeeper to have made more than two appearances.

Source AAP