Former European Golden Boot winner Diego Forlán has been formally presented as a Kitchee SC player earlier this afternoon.
The transfer follows in the tradition of the most highly-regarded names in European football electing for a move to Hong Kong, with notable examples being that of George Best (Hong Kong Rangers), World Cup winner Sir Alan Ball (Eastern AA) and Nicky Butt (South China AA).
In addition, this not only underlines Kitchee's SC ability to attract players of Forlán's reputation, but also sends a chilling message to both their domestic and international rivals.
Having arrived in Hong Kong yesterday where he was greeted by hundreds of adoring fans, the 38-year-old will take up the number 18 shirt and join up with his new teammates for his first training session on Saturday.
“The coach hasn’t decided if I will be in the squad in the next game. Of course I need a little bit of time to get touches on the ball and to know the players as well, but I am fit and ready for what the coach needs me to do," said Forlán.
“I have the opportunity to be with them and they have the opportunity to be with me, so we can learn from each other on the pitch. I know it’s a different culture and a different place. You have to learn about them and know their mentality but the main thing is football.”
“I will try to do my best to help the team, I know it’s a very strong team and it’s a very good challenge for us to play in the Asian Champions League.”
“It’s not going that easy playing against foreign teams but in football, you never know and if the team plays well we’ve always got a chance," he continued.
Although the Uruguayan has been a free agent since his previous stint in Mumbai over a year ago, the former Manchester United striker believes it is a matter of time before he is match-fit.
“I have been training the whole year and it’s not a problem. The most important thing for a player is physical (aspects); for the technical (aspects), it’s something that you’ve got and not something you can improve and nor will you lose it.”
“The more important thing when you’re getting older is to still get the strength and physique. That’s why I was focusing 100% not to lose it this year."
Hong Kong's reputation as a global metropolis may have played a major factor in the attacker's considerations, coming highly-recommended by his acquaintances as the next stop in his 20-year footballing journey.
“Many of my friends from my hometown have come here (Hong Kong) before and told me it was a very nice city, it’s quite similar to when I was in Japan,” he said.
"I've had the opportunity to be around the world playing in different countries and cultures. I've always wanted to come here to see the city because everyone was talking about how great it was."
"When I was approached about playing here, I thought it would be a good challenge and it's a good club. Vadócz, whom I played with in Mumbai City told me some really good things and that's why I decided to come here."
"It's a good place to come with your family and that's why I have decided to stay here until the end of my contract."