Home is where Heart is for Skoko

Melbourne Heart have captured ex-Australian international Josip Skoko, team officials announced on Wednesday, in a boost for the club before its debut A-League season.

The central midfielder, who spent a decade in an Australia shirt, which included the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ squad, returns after 15 years in Europe including 50 English Premier League matches with Wigan Athletic.

"To be able to entice a player of Josip's quality back to Australia is a real sign of the momentum Melbourne Heart FC has built over the last few months," said coach John van't Schip.

"Josip is a wonderful footballer. He is perfectly suited to the collective football we want to play and the professionalism we want to show. He is a winner, but most importantly, a winner who is known for his sportsmanship."

The 34-year-old Skoko joins fellow Australian internationals John Aloisi and Simon Colosimo at Heart, who will open the new A-League season against Central Coast Mariners on 5 August.