BARI, ITALY - NOVEMBER 14: Marco Rossi of Bari in action during the Serie A match between Bari and Parma at Stadio San Nicola on November 14, 2010 in Bari, Italy. (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

Wellington Phoenix have signed a former Serie A veteran, with defender Marco Rossi joining the Phoenix on a two year deal.

Rossi has played 100 over the course of his Serie A career, with stints at Parma and Sampdoria the most fruitful for the 28-year-old.

The Italian also represented his country at under-21 level, and spent the past season playing for Perugia in Serie B.

Wellington coach Ernie Merrick has had his eye on Rossi for months, and knows the experience he brings will be a big help in the Phoenix defence.

“I’m sure the time spent on signing Marco will be well worth it,” Merrick said.

“It was vitally important that we replaced Ben Sigmund with an experienced player because you need two experienced players at the heart of defence.

“As a centre back it is very much about reading the play and starting possession from the back and Marco has the experience to do that.

“Centre back is all about judging the offside line and I believe Marco and Dura (Andrew Durante) will form a good combination.

“No other country in the world has developed defenders like Italy and our young players like Dylan Fox can learn a lot from someone like Marco.”