Melbourne Victory sign ex-Napoli and Marseille attacker, who scored against Bayern Munich

Melbourne Victory have signed former Napoli and Marseille attacker Zinedine Machach ahead of the Isuzu UTE A-League season.

Machach joins Victory for the 2023-24 campaign, having spent the past season at Greek side Ionikos.

The 27-year-old emerged from Toulouse’s youth team in 2015 and made 21 Ligue 1 appearances before securing a big loan move to Marseille in 2016-17, scoring one goal in 12 matches across all competitions.

INS AND OUTS: Isuzu UTE A-League 2023-24 Transfer Centre

Machach moved to Maurizio Sarri’s Serie A giants Napoli in 2017-18 and trained alongside the likes of Marek Hamsik, Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens, Jorginho and Kalidou Koulibaly. While he did not make an official appearance, he was involved in squads against Juventus, Inter, AC Milan and Roma.

He did score in Napoli’s 3-0 friendly win over Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in 2018 – the German giants boasting Robert Lewandowski, Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala, Leon Goretzka, Kingsley Coman, Dayot Upamecano and Benjamin Pavard.

“I’m excited to be joining Melbourne Victory and can’t wait to put on the shirt and represent the club,” said Machach, who was born in France but pledged his international allegiance to Morocco after intervention from World Cup coach Herve Renard.

“When I first heard of the opportunity to come to Melbourne, it was something that was new and exciting for me and a challenge I believe will help me develop as a footballer.

“Victory is the biggest club with the best fans in Australia and I’m looking forward to giving everything for them to achieve success this season.”

While on the books of Napoli, Machach was loaned to Carpi and Crotone in Serie B, as well as Cosenza before loan spells at Dutch Eredivisie outfit VVV-Venlo and Hungarian side Budapest Honved.

Last season, he scored two goals in 23 league appearances for Ionikos, who were relegated from the Greek top flight.

He is Victory’s third new signing after Daniel Arzani and Adama Traore, while Roderick Miranda has re-signed and Franco Lino, Jordi Valadon and Joshua Inserra have been upgraded to the senior side, who missed out on the finals last term.

Victory head coach Tony Popovic added: “Zinedine is an exciting and dynamic player who has the ability to play a range of positions across the attacking third and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can produce at Melbourne Victory.

“His versatility in attack will be an asset to our squad this season and his experience in a range of leagues across Europe will allow him to adapt well in the A-League.

“We look forward to working with Zinedine as we continue to prepare for the upcoming season.”