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Besart Berisha

Besart Berisha signs for Sanfrecce Hiroshima after decorated career for Melbourne Victory in the A-League

6:35 am AEST 30/6/18
Besart Berisha Melbourne Victory
The Victory legend departs Melbourne after four trophy laden seasons with the club

It's an end of an era for Melbourne Victory and the A-League with star striker Besart Berisha officially signing for J-League side Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

The 32-year-old had been linked a move to Ange Postecoglou's Japanese club Yokohama Marinos, but instead opted to join the side nine points clear on top of the J-League table after 15 games.

Berisha posted a message to Victory fans via the club's Facebook page, paying tribute to four seasons he spent in Melbourne after joining from Brisbane Roar in 2014.

"I have very mixed emotions right now because I had an amazing time at Victory and in Australia," Berisha said.

"It’s a little bit sad but in the end it’s the right decision for me to move on at this time.

"I have to thank the fans for always supporting me, not just in the good times but also in the difficult moments. I will always be grateful."

Victory coach Kevin Muscat admitted his disappointment at Berisha departing the club but wished him well for the future.

"We are disappointed to be losing a player of Besart’s quality. You could always count on him to step up and deliver in the big games," Muscat said.

"However, we understand and respect his desire to tackle a new challenge and certainly wish him all the best."

Berisha was signed by Postecoglou to Brisbane Roar in 2011, where he began his remarkable A-League goalscoring career by firing the club to their maiden championship - scoring 21 times.

He won another championship at the Roar in 2013-14 before moving to Victory the following season.

Berisha won two championships at Victory in 2014-15 and 2017-18, and scored goals in four of his five A-League grand finals.

He finishes his stint in the A-League with 116 goals in 184 appearances  and as the competition's greatest goalscorer.