Carl Valeri
Carl Valeri(center) is a defensive midfielder for the Australian soccer team and joined the Melbourne Victory FC a year back. Reuters/Paul Hackett

Melbourne Victory FC finally got its new captain when Carl Valeri took on the reins from Mark Milligan, who now plays for UAE’s Baniyas.

The Socceroos midfielder joined Victory last season, earlier playing in Italy for a dozen years. Valeri has 52 Australian caps to his credit and aims to lead the club to higher horizons internationally.

“I just try to lead by example. I try to work the hardest,” the 31-year-old said after the announcement by Chairman Pietro and Coach Kevin Muscat.

The former Serie B player in Italian club soccer has been praised by higher officials and teammates alike. His quiet demeanour and reserved strength make him the ideal player to lead Victory FC to an Asian Championship League victory this forthcoming season.

Muscat, who led the team as captain in its first years, hailed Valeri as the ideal leader with first class performance on field and inspirational qualities off it. “He is well respected by his peers,” the coach explained. “and in the end it was an obvious choice for us.”

The tough tackler was part of the club’s championship campaign last season and has senior players like veteran Leigh Broxham and French centre back Matthieu Delpierre for support if needed in the future.

Modest and humble in his acceptance of the responsibility, Valeri maintained that he was still one among the players and was focussed on their collective target of winning the Asian League this year.

The Melbourne Victory club is scheduled to host the quarter-final of the FFA cup on September 22, against Adelaide United where Carl Valeri will get to display his leadership skills for the first time. As coach Muscat believes, if Carl repeats what he did throughout the last year in his new leadership role, it will be quite enough.

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