The Auckland City striker Emiliano Tade has signed a two-year contract with Argentinian football side Club Atletico de Mitre.
The 26-year-old forward turned in some eye-catching performances at last month's FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco and is now heading home to fulfil a lifelong ambition to play for his hometown club.
Tade, born in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, arrived in New Zealand and washed dishes in Wellington just over six years ago before signing for Team Wellington where he formed a deadly partnership with another Navy Blues striker Luis Corrales.
Now he's set to take the next step in an amazing journey.
He says Club Atletico de Mitre are from my home town and the club started me out in football.... I grew up supporting them.
Tade says it was a really tough decision to leave Auckland City FC because he feels like he was at home and really well looked after.
Tade's time with Auckland City FC was far from easy, often playing fifth-choice striker behind the likes of Manel Exposito, Gustavo Souto, Adam Dickinson and Corrales.
Yet every time Tade came off the bench he would invariably score goals then find himself among the substitutes the following week.
It was a tough learning curve for Tade but one that paid off for him and the Navy Blues with the striker contributing to no less than nine major championship victories in four years.
The credit, he says, belongs to coach Ramon Tribulietx.
He says Tribulietx was probably the one who discovered him, even though they had their moments - sometimes it was like a rollercoaster - but the coach always trusted him.
But Tade's glittering journey in Navy Blue colours was also punctuated by tragedy when his mother passed away three years ago.
The amiable Argentine returned to his hometown to be with family, with Auckland City FC officials telling Tade to take the time he needed to be with those closest to him.
After months away from Kiwitea Street, Tade eventually returned to the club, a return some in the wider football community believed might not happen.
He says he's going to Argentina with the attitude that he's maintained throughout his life, that it is part of a journey. He says he came to New Zealand with a backpack and he is still backpacking around the world in a way.
Auckland City received civic recognition with representatives from New Zealand Football and Auckland Council, including Auckland Mayor Len Brown, at the end of the match.
Santiago del Estero, Argentina
Club Atletico de Mitre (ARG)
Wellington United (NZL)
Team Wellington (NZL)
Auckland City FC (NZL)
Central United (NZL)