Melbourne Victory’s new Spanish signing Alan Baro will bring vast experience and versatility to the squad, according to head coach Kevin Muscat.
Baro was unveiled as a Victory player at AAMI Park on Monday, with the 31-year-old joining his new teammates on the training track for the first time.
“He naturally brings a great deal of experience,” Muscat said. “The majority of our defenders are 23 and under, so he’ll bring that guidance.
“First and foremost, he’s a very good defender – an aggressive defender that likes to build up and likes to play football.
“He was a natural fit for us. He fits into how we want to play. We’ve welcomed him only over the weekend, so he’ll find his feet in the next few weeks.
“He made the decision to come here earlier. The fact that he showed that enthusiasm to get here and be with his teammates and fulfil the whole of the pre-season shows he’s serious about it.”
Muscat recently made contact with Baro, who was playing for Ponferradina in Spain’s Segunda Division.
“I talked with Kevin before I took the decision,” Baro said.
“I looked for information on the internet and I see that Melbourne Victory is a great club who have won a lot of leagues.”
Muscat hinted that Baro will not only create competition for spots in defence, but his ability to play as a midfielder will see him trialled in that position in upcoming games against Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Newcastle Jets.
“Positions are up for grabs. The players understand that,” Muscat said.
“They’re not just going to be picked. They’re going to have to work themselves and train themselves and play themselves into the team.”
Victory will open the tournament against Juventus at the MCG on Saturday, July 23. Tickets are available here.
The club will then face Atletico in a tour match at Geelong’s Simonds Stadium on Sunday, July 31. Tickets are available here.
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