Melbourne City FC can confirm it has signed Austrian defender Richard Windbichler ahead of the 2019/20 Hyundai A-League season on a two-year deal.
Windbichler began his career in native Austria for Austrian Bundesliga clubs FC Admira Wacker and FK Austria, earning caps for Austrian age-group national sides from U-18 through to U-21 in the process. The 28-year-old then moved to South Korean powerhouse, Ulsan Hyundai and while at the K-League 1 side, won the FA Cup and was named in the 2018 K-League 1 Team of the Year.
Melbourne City Director of Football, Michael Petrillo said:
“Richard joins Melbourne City having demonstrated an ability to perform at an exceptionally high level both in Europe and Asia,” said Petrillo.
“He has experience in the Asian Champions League and has tasted success in South Korea winning an FA Cup and making the Team of the Year list.
“Richard is an intelligent defender that is comfortable in possession and able to start attacking moves from the back.
Commenting on his arrival, Windbichler said: “I’m very excited [to be joining Melbourne City FC], if it was up to me, I would be starting tomorrow.”
“I like challenges and experiences; I spent the last two years in South Korea where we had a game in Melbourne [AFC Champions League clash with Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park] and since the moment I stepped foot in this city I was in love. I just want to be part of this Club and make my footprint [in Australia].”
“I’m a centre back who likes to ask for the ball and play with the ball at my feet. I would say that the [attacking] build up is one of my greatest strengths, as well as the defensive one-on-ones.
“Melbourne City is an ambitious club that wants to compete for trophies and that is my goal too and in the best-case scenario we become champions, which is only possible with the fans support. I’m looking forward to meeting the fans at the first opportunity.”
Prior to joining City, Windbichler made 126 appearances, scoring seven goals at Admira Wacker before joining fellow Austrian side FK Austria Wien, where he made 36 appearances. Following his spells in Austria, the central defender joined South Korean side Ulsan Hyundai, where he made 58 appearances and scored two goals.
During his time at Uslan Hyundai, Windbichler won the 2017 FA Cup title and made 10 appearances in the AFC Champions League, scoring two goals and registering one assist. The defender was named in the 2018 K League 1 team of the year and nominated for defender of the year.
Following his stint in the K League 1, Windbichler joined Danish 1st Division side Viborg FF, where he made five appearances during a short spell in 2019.
The 28-year-old also featured for the U18s (three appearances), U19s (two appearances), U20s (one appearance) and U21s (12 appearances) of the Austrian national team between 2008 and 2012.
Windbichler will join up with the Melbourne City FC squad in early July as the team returns to CFA Melbourne to commence their pre-season schedule.