Melbourne Victory are looking for a new captain, with Ola Toivonen announcing his departure from the struggling A-League giants.
- Toivonen scored 25 goals in his 40 games with the club, and has been one of the A-League’s best players during his stay
- He took over as captain in a season which saw Victory win only five out of 21 games
- Victory is also looking for a new head coach after interim boss Carlos Salvachua left the club last week
The 33-year-old has decided to return to Europe after the expiration of his contract with Victory, rather than stay on to complete the 2019-20 season which is suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A member of Sweden’s 2018 World Cup squad, Toivonen lived up to his star billing at Victory with 25 goals in 40 appearances for the club.
He scored 10 goals in what has been a disappointing current campaign for the Victory, double that of their next best scorer Andrew Nabbout.
The forward said he left Victory with good memories, despite a season which featured just five wins from 21 matches, leaving them languishing 10th on the ladder.
“Melbourne is a fantastic city and Victory is a very professional and well-run club,” he said.
“While we didn’t achieve the success we had all hoped for over the past two years, it was a privilege to captain the club this season.”
The Swede has already been linked with a move to Malmo in his homeland.
Toivonen’s exit leaves Victory without a captain or coach, after Carlos Salvachua left the club last week.
The Spaniard had been appointed as Victory coach until the end of the season after the axing of German Marco Kurz in January.
Victory managed just one win in eight A-League matches under Salvachua, losing five of those.
However, he was at the helm for their first away win in the Asian Champions League — a 1-0 victory over Japan’s Kashima Antlers to reach the competition’s group stage.