Diamanti, 36, was announced as captain to the playing group by head coach Mark Rudan this morning.

Rudan said the former Italian international forward’s experience and leadership was crucial in his decision to hand him the armband for the club’s inaugural season.

“Since the first day of pre-season Alessandro has shown exceptional leadership qualities," said Rudan. "He’s well-respected by all the coaching staff and the playing group.

“Having played at the highest level at both club and country his experience will be a positive influence on our club in our first season."

Western United’s new captain won 17 caps for Italy and was part of their squad for the 2012 European Championships.

Diamanti’s clubs in Italy included Livorno, Fiorentina, Palermo and Perugia, while he also played alongside fellow Western United marquee Panagiotis Kone at Brescia and Bologna.

“I am very proud. It is a big responsibility. I will do my best for our club, our supporters, our staff,” he said today.

The Italian forward also played in the English Premier League with West Ham, and later part of Marcelo Lippi’s Guangzhou Evergrande in the Chinese Super League.

“Naming our inaugural captain is a big moment in Western United’s history and I’m delighted  Alessandro has been chosen,” said Western United CEO Chris Pehlivanis.

“We look forward to seeing him lead our playing group and represent the community of Western Melbourne with distinction in the A-League.”