Panagiotis Kone will be a household name in Melbourne’s west before too long.
The Greek star has signed on as Western Melbourne Group’s historic first international marquee player ahead of its entry into the A-League in October.
Kone will be with the soon-to-be-named expansion club on a two year contract and it has the club’s power brokers excited.
“Our club has made a huge statement by signing Panagiotis Kone as our inaugural marquee player,” Western Melbourne Group football director and former Socceroo Steve Horvat said. “This signing shows how serious we are about building a strong squad for our first season in the A-League and we cannot wait for Panagiotis to arrive and get started.”
Kone is going to be a major drawcard for Western Melbourne Group.
A player with plenty of flair, he will be a driving force in the attacking midfield position for the new club.
What will excite the fans will be Kone’s spectacular goal scoring and celebrations to match.
“He’s an attacker who will get the fans off their seats,” Horvat said. “He brings genuine quality to our club and the league and has an international profile which will boost our club’s reputation globally.”
Kone has been a regular fixture in the Greece national team.
The 31-year-old has been capped 28 times for his nation, including representation at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
He has played in the top leagues in Greece, with AEK Athens, and Italy, featuring in over 160 games mainly with Brescia, Bologna and Udinese.
In 2013, while playing with Bologna, Kone was nominated for FIFA’s goal of the year award, for a spectacular bicycle kick against Napoli.
It is not only Kone’s exploits on the pitch that will be valuable for Western Melbourne Group.
“He speaks good English and is a real character, who our fans and the entire community of western Melbourne will love seeing represent them in the A-League,” Horvat said.
Kone is looking forward to turning a new chapter in his career.
He is the first of many new signings to be announced in the coming months.
“I am looking forward to playing a big part for Western Melbourne on and off the field,” Kone said. “I am excited to meet my new teammates but also the great Greek community in Melbourne.”