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The Algerian born Italian defender hoping to play a big role with the Impact.

The Montreal Impact announced on Wednesday the signing of former Italian international defender Matteo Ferrari. The 32 year old became a free agent in January after spending two seasons with Turkish side Besiktas.

“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.”

Ferrari has had an extensive career in Europe, particularly in Italy where he played over 200 games in Serie A for several teams including the likes of Inter Milan and Roma. He has also started 19 games in the UEFA Champions League, played through the Italian National team youth ranks and was capped 11 times with the senior team.

Impact President Joey Saputo and Club Sporting director Nick De Sanctis met with Ferrari during a trip to Italy in early February. He joined the team soon after on trial and has impressed the coaching staff ever since.

“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 details of his contract have not been released by the Impact but he is not a designated player.

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