Brisbane sign Massimo Maccarone on marquee deal

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(Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images Europe)

Brisbane Roar have found their replacement for departed striker Jamie Maclaren, with former Italian international Massimo Maccarone arriving on a one year deal as the clubs new marquee player.

Maccarone, 37, brings a large degree of top level experience with him to Brisbane, having played in the Serie A with Parma, Siena, Palermo, Sampdoria and Empoli in addition to spending four seasons in the Premier League with Middlesbrough back in the mid 2000’s.

After starting out with Serie C club Prato, Maccarone moved to Empoli in 2000 where his 26 goals in 68 appearances saw him earn a call up to the National side despite playing in Italy’s second tier.

A move to the Premier League with Middlesbrough soon followed and the Italian played a role in their 2004 League Cup triumph and their run to the 2006 UEFA Cup Final.

As a marquee player Maccarone joins a short list of players to fill that role at the Roar, following in the footsteps of Craig Moore, Thomas Broich and Matt McKay. Brett Holman is set to join Maccarone as the other marquee player for the upcoming season. Tommy Oar was set to fill one of the two outside of the cap spots this season before his departure to APOEL FC which opened up the possibility of signing Maccarone.

Maccarone then returned to Italy in 2007 to play in the Serie A for the first time in his career, where he joined Siena. Additional moves to Palermo and Sampdoria followed before Maccarone returned to Empoli in 2011 with the goal of returning the club to the Serie A.

In his second spell at the club Maccarone scored 63 goals in 176 appearances over six seasons, helping the club back to the Serie a back in 2013-14. Last season was a bit of a down year however for both Maccarone and Empoli, with the striker netting just the 5 goals in 28 appearances last season as Empoli was relegated back to the Serie B after a three year stay in the top tier.

As mentioned Maccarone was called up to represent the National side back in 2002 ahead of the World Cup making the two appearances for Italy, the first of which was as a substitute against England.

The one thing that Maccarone brings above anything else to the Roar squad is experience, although how he fits in as a replacement for a younger, more mobile striker in Jamie Maclaren will be interesting. How the 37 year old deals with the heat and humidity here in Australia is also a question.

Maccarone adds some experience to Brisbane’s striking options and figures to start the season as the clubs first choice number 9, with Nicholas D’Agostino and Corey Gameiro in reserve. The big need in the final third is now in the wide areas where options are currently limited to new signing Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Shannon Brady and perhaps Gameiro.

The signing of Maccarone takes Brisbane’s squad to 20 players, with both marquee spaces now full along with three of the five visa spots. Previously John Aloisi hinted that there would be two more signings in the final third with a winger and a striker the priority, so with Maccarone in the bag attention is likely to switch towards the flanks.

Brisbane Roar squad as at 17/07/2017
Goalkeepers– Michael Theo, Jamie Young.
Defenders- Daniel Bowles, Corey Brown, Luke Devere, Jack Hingert, Dane Ingham, Jade North, Connor O’Toole, Avram Papadopoulos.
Midfielders– Joe Caletti, Brett Holman, Thomas Kristensen, Matt McKay, Jacob Pepper.
Forwards- Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Shannon Brady, Nicholas D’Agostino, Corey Gameiro, Massimo Maccarone.

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