Austria captain Janko to play for Sydney FC

File picture shows Austria’s striker Marc Janko (right) celebrating with his teammate striker Martin Harnik after scoring the 1-0 during the FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifying match Austria vs Kazakhstan in Vienna on October 16, 2012. — AFP pic
File picture shows Austria’s striker Marc Janko (right) celebrating with his teammate striker Martin Harnik after scoring the 1-0 during the FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifying match Austria vs Kazakhstan in Vienna on October 16, 2012. — AFP pic

SYDNEY, July 31 — Austria captain Marc Janko will play in Australia’s A-League next season after being announced as Sydney FC’s marquee international player for next season today.

The 31-year-old striker replaces Italy and Juventus great Alessandro del Piero, who left the twice-champions at the end of last season after two years at the club.

Del Piero, who was on the most lucrative contract in Australian sports at A$2 million a year, generated a huge amount of publicity for the league.

He failed to help the team past beyond the first round of the playoffs, however, and Janko’s signing is an indication of a more practical approach by new coach Graham Arnold as he looks to win the club its first title since 2010.

Janko, who stands at 6ft 5in (1.96m), is a proven goal-scorer with a strike rate above one every two matches in his spells at FC Salzburg in Austria, Dutch club Twente Enschede and Porto in Portugal.

He had less success at Trabzonspor in Turkey over the last two years but 17 goals in 40 appearances for his country – he scored the 17th in a pre-World Cup draw with Uruguay in March – are the sort of figures that will attract any coach. — Reuters

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