Just hours out from the FFA Cup final, Con Stamocostas brings the second part of his feature on Adelaide star Marcelo Carrusca, and looks at how the Reds' playmaker has settled in the City of Churches, the football journey that led him to Australia, and the one-time Central Coast Mariner who convinced him to take a punt on the A-League.
Adelaide United were without influential playmaker Marcella Carrusca, who was struggling with a calf muscle injury, when they went down in a surprise loss to Brisbane Roar.
The Reds coach Josep Gombau and their fans will be hoping the Argentinean import will be fit for tonight’s home FFA Cup final against Perth Glory.
Before his injury Carrusca spoke to FourFourTwo about the inaugural final and said it was the Reds most significant game of their lives.
“We train all year to be in the final and we arrive now, we have one game left we have to do everything do our best and try to win the trophy,” Carrusca said.
“This is the objective that we have, so we’ll see what happens I’m very excited for that.”
Adelaide United have already played and beaten Perth in round two of the A-League but the Argentinian denied it would give the Reds the edge going into tonight’s final.
“No of course not, every game is different – they are improving also, if we compare that last game that we won so it will be different of course.
“It will be very difficult we know that they have good players, and are a good team. I think it will be an equal game and difficult and I hope we win.
The 31-year-old is happy with Adelaide’s start to the A-League season both on a team and personal level as he fulfils his playmaker role with aplomb.
“I feel really, really well, we are playing well and getting results and we are scoring many goals,” he said.
“We are happy that the results are good for us, I hope we can carry on for the rest of the season. I feel good, I am scoring, I make some assist also this is my job, to assist to the strikers and wingers and try to help the team this way, I am happy more because the team is playing well.”
The Buenos Aires local has played almost 50 games for Adelaide United and says that his family is settled in Australia and with a new addition to the Carrusca household on the way, moving Down Under was the best decisions he’s ever made.
Carrusca added: “I feel really well in this club and in the city, also my life here outside football is fantastic, now we are waiting for my second son in January he will be Aussie so with my family we are very happy here.
“The club help me a lot when I arrive here so I’m very grateful with the club, with the coach with my teammates also.
“I think it’s my best moment in my career because I am playing in every game, because I don’t have a big injury that doesn’t let me show how I can play.”
On his decision to play in the A-League Carrusca said: “My agent told me that there was an opportunity to come here – I spoke with family, with my wife. We don’t know much about the football here, we know very well how the life (in Australia) is so we came here for another experience.
“Now of course we are happy here, we try to enjoy every day. The reason is because when I see my family I see that they are very happy. This is the main thing – the most important for me is family so if they are happy I’m happy also.”
Carrusca revealed it was the advice of former Argentinean Youth international teammate and ex- Mariner that helped prepare him with right mindset to play in the A-League.
“To be honest I didn’t know how hard (the A-League) was,” Carrusca said.
“Before I came here I call Patricio Perez who played for the Central Coast three years ago. I play with him in the Under-20 national team.
“I call him to give me his feelings, and he told me if you want to go there don’t think it will be easy, it is a very difficult league, a very physical league, so you go there you do your best because it’s not easy to play there.
“And what he told me it was like this, exactly the same. When I came here I tried to do every day my best, to improve every day. I think it’s working because I have the results. I have the chance to be in the A League All Stars team the last two years I’m here, and I’m so glad for that.”
In 2003 Carrusca played at the Under-20 Youth World Cup in the United Arab Emirates where Argentina made the semi-finals. His teammates included some big names in football that play for some of the world’s biggest teams.
“When I start to play, I play in the first division (of Argentina) when I was 18,” he said.
“After my first game the national team coach of the Argentina under- 20 called me for training with them and after one year we play in the under- 20 tournament to qualify for the World Cup and we won the tournament.
“We won almost every game. In this time I play with fantastic players who are now playing in the most important league like (Carlos) Tevez (Juventus), (Javier) Mascherano (Barcelona), (Pablo) Zabaleta (Manchester City), Maxi Lopez (Chievo Verona), (Fernando) Cavenaghi, (River Plate) many players that now play in big teams. It was a very good experience.”
Estuduiantes in Argentina has had a massive influence on Carrusca. He spent a total of 15 years at the club from youth to senior level. He played for the club twice during two different stints. One of those stints saw Carrusca take part in the pinnacle of club world football where he played in a game that involved fellow Argentineans Lionel Messi, and Juan Sebastian Veron.
“(Estuduiantes) this is my second home,” he said.
“I started there when I was 11-years-old, and after seven years I start to play in the first division. I feel it’s like my team, I learnt my football education there, I played many years there, and this experience was amazing.
“When I leave I went to Turkey (Galatasaray) for a couple of years, then I come back to (Estudiantes) where I played in the World Club Cup, we play in the final and we lost to Barcelona (2-1) it was another very good experience.”
Con Stamocostas is an Australian football writer. Check out Episode Three of his latest A- League Football Snobcast with co-host Rob Toddler.