Words: ACFC Media
Monday 13 January 2020
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Home - that's how Auckland City FC club record goal scorer Emiliano Tade describes signing for the Navy Blues for a third time.
The 31-year-old put pen to paper on a new contract with Auckland City FC after ending his South African adventure with Mamelodi Sundowns at the end of last year.
Coach Jose Figueira was delighted to see Tade back at the club.
"Delighted to have them in and have them back. I'm delighted to welcome two high calibre, high quality, players into the squad.
"Emiliano had a good few years in South Africa and came to a situation where things were changing for him personally and was looking ahead to what that might mean for him.
"We had a conversation about him coming back and I'm delighted he made that choice to come back and he's eager and raring to go," he said.
Tade joins All Whites defender Tom Doyle as the Navy Blues two major transfer window signings as Figueira's squad builds towards the OFC Champions League.
"Both Tom and Emi are high quality players are fantastic people so to have them join us for a strong push in the second half of the season is a real positive," Figueira said.
Tade won himself an $800,000.00 transfer to the Sundowns for his efforts with AmaZulu, the club he signed for two years ago, as he made an instant impact in South African football.
But now engaged and the other side of 30, Tade felt the time was right to make a return to a club where he has scored an amazing 107 goals in 162 appearances.
"This feels like coming home. It felt like a dream for me. I've been talking to a lot of friends and with my fiancee and this felt like I have been away on a short trip and everything feels familiar - I'm home," he told www.aucklandcityfc.com.
Tade has cut ties with Auckland City FC previously, when after the club finished third at the FIFA Club World Cup in 2014, he signed a professional contract with his hometown club Club Atletico Mitre in Argentina.
The affable striker always goes with how he feels rather than thinking too forensically about the details so his return to Kiwitea Street is no surprise.
But it's clear his love of exploring the world will always be a key part of who he is as a person and footballer.
"South Africa was an unbelievable experience. As a life experience and footballwise. Playing for Amazulu was stepping into a new culture - getting in depth with the Zulu culture, especially - I enjoyed it a lot.
"Stepping up to play for Mamelodi Sundowns was an incredible experience for me, I enjoyed it a lot.
"It wasn't only South Africa but the whole African continent that I explored - I got to travel to other countries and play in the African Champions League and it was an unbelievable experience," he said.
While Auckland City FC is a natural allure for Tade he says Jose Figueira's influence was an essential element in runnerstamping his move back to Kiwitea Street.
"Jose played a huge role in my return and was perhaps the most important factor. I spoke to him about coming back and my intentions to play in New Zealand again and we worked on the visa situation which thankfully was fine.
"Working with Jose at Central United in the past was good because we know how to work together in a lot of ways," he said.
And now he's home what are his ambitions for the Navy Blues in the new decade?
"We want to bring the OFC Champions League back home. What else can I say. This is part of being home," he said.
Name: Emiliano Tade
Born: 3 March, 1988.
Birthplace: Santiago del Estero, Argentina.
Previous clubs: Team Wellington (NZL), Club Atletico de Mitre (ARG), AmaZulu (RSA), Mamelodi Sundowns (RSA), Auckland City FC (NZL).
Club appearances: 162.
Club goals: 107.
FIFA Club World Cup: 2014 3rd Place
OFC Champions League (6): 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.
OFC President's Cup (1): 2014.
New Zealand Football Championship (2): 2013–14, 2014–15.
NZF Charity Cup (4): 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016.