Auckland City striker Emiliano Tade signs for rivals Western Springs

Record-breaking striker Emiliano Tade is leaving Auckland City to join local rivals Western Springs.

Springs have announced Tade (35) will join their Northern League squad for next season, having made his final appearance for Auckland City at the FIFA Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia.

In their announcement, Springs said: “Emiliano isn’t just a player; he’s a legend, holding the prestigious title of the all-time leading goal scorer in New Zealand Football Championship history.”

Main photo: Emiliano Tade … set records with Auckland City. Photo credit: Western Springs.

Argentina-born Tade is Auckland City’s all-time record holder for match appearances and first team goals.

Two days before Springs announced his signing, Tade played his 12th match at the FIFA Club World Cup, which equalled the all-time record held by Al Ahly winger Hussein Elsahat.

“The excitement is real, and we can’t wait to see Emiliano’s magic unfold on our very own Seddon turf!” Western Springs told their supporters via social media.

Emiliano Tade … crossing town to play for Western Springs. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Tade arrived in New Zealand 15 years ago as a backpacker and landed a job as a dishwasher at a restaurant.

He joined Team Wellington in the NZ Football Championship and signed for Auckland City in 2011-2012.

He became part of the Navy Blues team that came third at the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco.

His performances for City led to an offer of a professional contract in Argentina with Mitre, but he returned to New Zealand in time for the 2015-2016 national league season

Tade then spent two seasons in South Africa, his first with AmaZulu, followed by an $800,000 move to Mamelodi Sundowns.

After an injury-disrupted season at Sundowns, he returned to Kiwitea St where he has become a fans favourite.

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