Confirmed: Berisha departs Victory

Four-time Hyundai A-League Championship-winner Besart Berisha has departed Melbourne Victory to pursue an overseas opportunity.

It hasn't been announced where Berisha, who had a year to run on his deal with Victory, will be heading but speculation is pointing he'll link up with former boss Ange Postecoglou at J-League club Yokohama F.Marinos.

READ: The defining moments in Berisha’s Hyundai A-League career

READ: The incredible stats behind Berisha’s Hyundai A-League career

Reflecting on his time Down Under, Berisha paid tribute to his club, his teammates, and his fans.

“I have very mixed emotions right now because I had an amazing time at Victory and in Australia,” said Berisha.
 
“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.
 
“I would also like to thank Kevin and all the coaching staff, you always trusted me and backed me up.
 
“A big thanks goes to the players who helped me to achieve so much in Australia."

The 32-year-old leaves as the Hyundai A-League’s greatest-ever goal-scorer and one of the most successful players the competition has ever seen.

Joining Brisbane Roar for the start of the 2011/12 Season, Berisha helped the club win two championships and a Premiers’ Plate.

In 76 appearances for the club, he scored 48 goals.

But after the 2014 Grand Final win over Western Sydney Wanderers, Berisha headed to Melbourne to join the Victory and continued his incredible success.

Besart Berisha
Besart Berisha scores in the 2014 Hyundai A-League Grand Final.

He won the double with Victory in his first season, as well as scoring in the FFA Cup final win in 2015.

He finishes with 68 goals in 110 games for Victory, becoming the first player to reach the 100-goal mark in the competition’s history.

In all, Berisha has 116 goals in the Hyundai A-League from just 186 games, to sit above Shane Smeltz (92) and Archie Thompson (90).

Berisha was one of Kevin Muscat's first signings as Victory coach, who called the striker 'one of the greatest players to wear the Victory jersey'.

“His contribution, not only to our club but to the entire competition has been immense and his record speaks for itself," said Muscat.
 
“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.
 
“However, we understand and respect his desire to tackle a new challenge and certainly wish him all the best.”

Kevin Muscat and Besart Berisha
Melbourne Victory boss Kevin Muscat and Besart Berisha celebrate the 2017/18 title success.