First Team

Brazilian signs for Hearts

22nd July 2015

Defender Igor Rossi Branco joins Hearts from Portuguese side Maritimo.

Hearts have beefed up their defensive numbers with the addition of Brazilian defender Igor Rossi Branco.

The 26-year-old left-sided centre-half joins the club, subject to international clearance, from Portuguese outfit Maritimo.

Igor, who holds dual Brazilian and Italian nationality, has penned a one-year deal and will go straight into Robbie’s squad for Sunday’s friendly match against Everton.

The 6 foot 2" defender brings a wealth of experience to Tynecastle, having sampled Brazilian, Portuguese and Europa League football.

Speaking exclusively to Hearts News, Igor said: “I believe that John Murray and the Hearts scouting network brought me to the attention of Craig Levein and he in turn watched a lot of footage of me with Robbie then we had a meeting and here I am. 

“I had seen Scottish sides in Europe, particularly Celtic and the Scottish national side and when I was aware of Hearts’ interest I read up quite a bit about them and saw that they won the league by a huge margin over Rangers so I was very impressed. 

“I am very much looking forward to living in Edinburgh. As soon as I knew Hearts were interested in me I was on the internet looking at the city and it is beautiful and so full of history. My wife is also very excited to be coming to live in Scotland. 

“Robbie was very impressive and he explained to me his ambition for the club, where he expects us to be in the future and how he wants the team to play. Craig also spoke very well to me and I was immediately convinced that I should come to Edinburgh and play for the Hearts.

“I believe I will bring good experience from my five years playing in the Portuguese Division 1 and in the Europa League. I want to help the club challenge in every tournament we play in and I want to help my new team-mates.

“I am a leader, I play aggressively and with a lot of passion and I like to have the ball at my feet and play from the back. From what I have seen this is the Hearts way. I'm also hoping to score some goals as I'm good in the air.”