Adelaide United captain Eugene Galekovic believes there’s no better foreign brigade in the A-League than the Reds’ Latin quintet.
The Reds, coached by Spaniard Josep Gombau, have netted 38 goals this campaign, with 26 coming from their imports in Jeronimo Neumann (eight), Fabio Ferreira (seven), Cirio (seven) and Marcelo Carrusca (four), while Isaias has been a regular feature as a deep-lying midfielder.
While other clubs have marquee names such as Alessandro Del Piero, William Gallas, Emile Heskey and Shinji Ono, and leaders Brisbane Roar have seasoned A-League stars Thomas Broich and Besart Berisha, Galekovic said there’s no better group of imports than Adelaide’s Latin quintet.
“I think we’ve got the best foreigners in the league,” Galekovic told FourFourTwo. “We’ve got five out of five.
“Usually out of five, you’ll get one or two maybe three who are quality, but all of ours are hitting their straps at the right time.”
Indeed, Adelaide have hit peak goalscoring form with 14 goals in their past four matches, including 11 from their foreign brigade.
Galekovic argued having a Spanish boss in charge had helped the new recruits quickly settle in to good effect, with Spaniards Cirio and Isaias joining in mid-2013,
“Sometimes it takes a year to get settled. The two Spanish boys have come in and settled straight away and are playing some good football,” Galekovic said. “They’ve been enjoying their football and with the Spanish coach they are used to the style.
“They are loving every minute of it. I think all these little things help as well, with the language between that group and the assistant coach as well. They are a close knit unit.”
The Adelaide goalkeeper, who revealed all bar Ferreira lived in the same apartment block, suggested the quintet would improve even more next season as they adjust to life in Australia.
“They are good around the group,” Galekovic said. “The Argentinians (Carrusca and Jeronimo) have learnt a bit of English, as they’ve been here a bit longer. The two Spanish boys have picked up on the smaller words and can speak a bit.
“That’s what makes them good blokes as well, as they are here to learn the language and get on with their team-mates. One more year, they’ll be even better next season.”
Adelaide will be eager to continue their rich goalscoring form in the next two weeks, with two huge away matches coming up against top two Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers.
Galekovic refused to say finishing top two was key to their championship hopes, but admitted it was a big fortnight for the club.
“It’s going to dictate where we’ll finish at the end of the season,” Galekovic said. “In saying that, the pressure is all on Western Sydney to keep the second spot. We’ll be playing at their home ground, so the pressure is on them.”
Meanwhile, Galekovic has extra incentive to help the Reds go deep into the A-League Finals as he bids to keep his 2014 World Cup hopes alive by playing as much football as possible in the lead-up to the tournament.
The 32-year-old went to South Africa four years ago, and believes there is room for an experienced goalkeeper if youngsters Mat Ryan and Mitchell Langerak are first picked.
“I’d love to go. I haven’t been picked for this friendly, but I’m not going to give up,” Galekovic said. “There’s six rounds to go, plus finals, so I’ll keep trying to put my best foot forward and try to sneak in there.
“It’s still wide open and there’s definitely room for an experienced keeper. Anyone who’s playing has a good chance, so if I can help my team get to the Grand Final in early May, that’d be ideal.”