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By ESPN Staff

Rojas signs four-year deal with Stuttgart

A-League player of the year Marco Rojas is looking forward to testing himself in Europe after securing a move to German club VfB Stuttgart.

The 21-year-old New Zealand midfielder was widely expected to leave Australia after his stellar season with Melbourne Victory.

He will now realise his dream of playing in Europe after Stuttgart confirmed on Wednesday they had signed him to a four-year deal on a free transfer.

The Victory will reportedly receive $A180,000 in compensation under FIFA laws.

Rojas scored 15 goals and provided nine assists in his second season with the Victory, having joined from Wellington Phoenix.

The form also attracted reported interest from several European clubs, including heavyweights Liverpool and Juventus.

He said he felt wanted by the German outfit.

"My father and I have spoken to the key people at VfB and they gave the impression that they would be really happy to have me here," Rojas told the club's website.

"For a player, it's a great thing when the club lets you know that they definitely want to have you, but it will certainly be a huge challenge."

Stuttgart, who won the 2007 Bundesliga title, are currently mid-table in the league with two games left and Rojas said he was looking forward to eventually running out at the 50,000-capacity Mercedes-Benz Arena.

"I watched last Saturday's game against Fuerth and the atmosphere is impressive," he said.

"I'm used to the Australian league crowds, so to see 50,000 spectators is of course something special."

His arrival has generated excitement, particularly after Rojas was dubbed the "Kiwi Messi" by some last season, but the player is keen to play down the hype.

"That's obviously an exaggeration, the Australian media like to use nicknames, but it could have been a worse one," Rojas said.

"I don't want to say too much. At the moment, I just want to get prepared for the new season and then hopefully prove myself."

Stuttgart's director of sport Fredi Bobic said the club was attracted by Rojas' pace and ability out wide.

Rojas will join fellow former A-League players including Robbie Kruse, Mitch Langerak and Nikita Rukavytsya in Germany's top flight.


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