Former Liverpool hero Luis Garcia has signed for Australian outfit Central Coast Mariners, according to Sky Sports.
The 37-year-old came out of retirement in 2014 where he put pen to paper on a deal to play in the Indian Super League for Atletico Kolkata. However, an injury meant that his career in India was cut short prior to the 2015 campaign.
One year on, Garcia will return to professional football and he is poised to make his Mariners debut against Western Sydney Wanderers next Saturday.
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Having appeared in a Liverpool shirt 122 times between 2004 and 2007, the Spaniard is set to replace midfielder Anthony Caceres who joined Manchester City last week. The Mariners, who sit bottom of the A-League, will be hoping Garcia can help them turn their season around.
The midfielder was understandably pleased with his unexpected transfer: “This is an exciting challenge for me to play in the Hyundai A-League and with such a progressive club like the Mariners.”
“One of the things that attracted me to the club was the opportunity to share my experience with a young playing group. I am also looking forward to playing football in one of the most beautiful places in the world.”
Shaun Mielekamp, Mariners chief executive, said: “This is a huge opportunity for not only the Central Coast Mariners and the Central Coast region but also for football in Australia.”
Before signing for the Aussie side, the 37-year-old netted two goals for a Liverpool Legends team who were 4-0 victors over Australia Legends in Sydney earlier this month.
Garcia, who played 20 times for Spain, also played for the likes of Panathinaikos, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona and the former Liverpool midfielder will be looking to showcase his experience and help the league strugglers pull away from the bottom.
Having impressed in the charity match, the midfielder still possesses the same credentials he provided during his successful footballing career prior to his retirement and will no doubt prove to be a beneficial addition to Tony Walmsley’s side.