NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City FC has added one of the top defenders in Sweden to its roster.

NYCFC announced Wednesday that it has signed free agent Anton Tinnerholm.

The 26-year-old has helped Malmo win three of the last four Allsvenskan (Swedish top flight) championships. Tinnerholm is the reigning 2017 Allsvenskan Defender of the Year.

Tinnerholm said he was looking for a new challenge after his contract expired.

anton NYCFC Signs Top Swedish Defender Anton Tinnerholm

Anton Tinnerholm of Malmo FF in action during a UEFA Champions League Group A match against Real Madrid on Dec. 8, 2015, at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on in Madrid. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

“As soon as I heard NYCFC was interested, I really wanted to join,” he told NYCFC.com. “I spoke to (NYCFC coach) Patrick (Vieira), and there are ambitions to go and win the title, and I’m a player who always wants to play in a top team.

MORE: Residents, Lawmakers Weigh In On Proposals For Belmont Park Redevelopment

“I wanted a new challenge, and I’m ready for a new adventure, so it seems to me that this is a great opportunity to try and help the club make history in New York City,” he added. “I heard very good things about playing under Patrick. I think I can learn a lot and develop under him as a coach, and I can’t wait to play at Yankee Stadium.”

NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna said he is excited to add a player of Tinnerholm’s caliber.

“Anton brings a winning mentality from his experiences at Malmo, and that’s important when we’re recruiting players for NYCFC,” Reyna said. “He’s motivated by the goal of continuing his involvement with the Swedish national team, and we believe that NYCFC will give him the platform to get selected for the World Cup this summer.”

More From CBS New York

Download Weather App
Bloomberg WCBS Tri-State Business Index
Hear It On Demand

Watch & Listen LIVE