MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact announced on Thursday it has signed Italian central defender Matteo Ferrari. He will be officially be added to the Montreal Impact roster and be eligible for selection in competitive matches pending receipt of his ITC. As per MLS and club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Ferrari had joined the Impact for training camp in California on February 14, following an unanticipated meeting with club president Joey Saputo and sporting director Nick De Santis, while on a European scouting trip earlier this month.
“I’m very happy for this opportunity to play an important role with the Impact in its inaugural season,” said Ferrari. “I hope to help this team progress and succeed in its first campaign in MLS. I’ve only been here a short time, but I’m happy with the organization. The coaches and the players have been great to me.”
“We are extremely pleased to add a player of this quality to our team,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “He has already fit into our group in a very good way and we believe that his experience and leadership make us stronger.”
The 32-year-old has spent the last two seasons with first division Turkishclub Besiktas, joining the side in 2009 and winning the Turkish Cup in 2011. Prior to that, Ferrari played in more than 200 games and over 20,000 minutes in Italy’s Serie A, most notably with Inter Milan, Parma, and AS Roma. During his time there, he won two Italian Cups and one Italian Super Cup.
In addition, he has played 22 Champions League games, 19 as a starter, to go along with 21 UEFA Cup appearances.
Ferrari spent time with English Premier side Everton, in 2005-2006, playing eight games on loan.
Ferrari has played 11 games for the Italian National Team and 33 caps as a national youth team member. He was also part of the UEFA Euro 2002 U21 squad and played in the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympic Games, winning a bronze medal in Athens, Greece. The central defender was also in the squad that participated at the UEFA Euro 2004.
The Impact will kick off its inaugural season in the North American first division on Saturday, March 10, against Canadian rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC, at 6pm (ET), at BC Place in Vancouver. The team will then host its season opener at Olympic Stadium, on Saturday, March 17, against the Chicago Fire, at 2pm (ET).
Season tickets for 2012 are still available and can be purchased via the team’s website at impactmontreal.com or by calling 514-328-3668. Individual tickets are available for the Olympic Stadium games via the Admission network.
Weight: 170 lbs
Birth date: December 5, 1979, Aflou, Algeria
Place of residence: Milan, Italy
Former club: Besiktas (Turkey)
Acquired: March 1, 2012