Italian football legend Alessandro Del Piero will play in the sky blue strip of Sydney FC in 2012-2013 after signing a two-year contract with the club, believed to be worth about $2 million.
In a stunning recruitment coup for the A-League, the 37-year-old striker finally put pen to paper on a deal that he is understood to have agreed to in principle as early as last week, with Sydney FC prevailing over a host of high-profile suitors including Scottish giant Celtic, Greek side Olympiacos, Swiss club Sion and Braga of Portugal.
Premier League club Liverpool is reported to have made an eleventh-hour bid for a player rated among Italy's greatest ever attackers.
But with Del Piero's reported desire to leave a legacy on the game a key factor in the negotiations, Sydney FC and the fledgling A-League presented a compelling case.
The World Cup winner fronted a press conference in Turin to discuss the reasons behind his decision.
Del Piero said Sydney was a perfect fit and proudly declared: "For the next two years, I am Australian, so to speak."
He did insist he would not be coming to Australia for a holiday, proclaiming his desire to score goals, win trophies and help raise the profile and standard of the league.
"I'm coming to Sydney to score and to win and I'm hoping that Australian football, with my help, can grow.
"I've got the desire and determination to help the sport grow that's a big drive for me.
"I want to play in front of full stadiums.
"It's a great honour that there is so much excitement about me coming to Australia.
"I will give everything and put I can everything into it.
Del Piero is expected to push Sydney's average home attendance past the 15,000 mark and joins the likes of Benito Carbone, Juninho, Dwight Yorke and Kazuyoshi Miura to have worn the Sky Blues' strip.
"This signing is a major coup for Sydney FC and marks a historic day for football in this country," said club chairman Scott Barlow.
"This is for all Australian football fans.
"Alessandro Del Piero is a global icon of the game and we are honoured he has chosen Sydney, ahead of many other options, as the club where he will begin the next chapter of his illustrious football career."
The A-League club took the unusual step of last week announcing that Del Piero had 'agreed to finalise details on a contract with the Sky Blues', sparking a frenzy of social media interest, only to be forced into an U-turn after a denial by Del Piero's camp.
Sky Blues chief executive Tony Pignata and player agent Lou Sticca then flew to Italy on Sunday to negotiate a possible deal with Del Piero's agent and brother Stefano in Turin as talks intensified.
The main sticking points during week-long negotiations that started with intercontinental video hook-ups were the former Juve striker's huge business interests, personal sponsorships and image rights.
Sydney expects Del Piero, who has been voted Italy's most popular current sportsman ahead of motorcycle ace Valentino Rossi, to join his new team-mates within a fortnight.
Del Piero is a veteran of 19 years at Italian club Juventus, where he made his debut in 1993 and went on to win six Serie A titles, the UEFA Champions League in 1996, the Coppa Italia and the Intercontinental Cup, before his release at the end of the club's undefeated 2011-2012 season.
He represented Italy 91 times in a glittering international career that spanned 13 years, yielded 27 goals and featured the 2006 World Cup win.