Gombau goes wild for All Star Ibini

A-League All Stars coach Josep Gombau has used one of his wild card picks to bring Sydney FC new recruit Bernie Ibini into the squad to face Italian powerhouse Juventus next month.

In addition to the players voted in by fans, Gombau has four additional picks and has opted for Ibini to boost the squad's attacking options.

The former Central Coast Mariners star made the move to the Sky Blues in the off season following six goals from 16 appearances in 2013/14, and now has the chance to stake his claims for a starting spot in the glamour clash against the Serie A champions on August 10 in Sydney.

“It’s definitely very exciting and something I’m looking forward to because you don’t get the opportunity to play against world class players like that all of the time,” Ibini said who joins team-mates Sasa Ognenovski and Ali Abbas in the squad.

“To be part of the All Stars is a great achievement for myself and I’m looking forward to it. To have other boys from the Sydney FC team is definitely going to make it a lot easier to get into camp and work together.

As well as the prospect of coming up against the likes of World Cup stars Andrea Pirlo, Gianluigi Buffon and French midfielder Paul Pogba, who was crowned best young player at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, 21-year-old Ibini also expressed excitement at being in the same team as Italian legend and former Sydney marquee Alessandro Del Piero, who will captain the All Stars against his former club.

“It’s going to be very special to train and play with Alessandro Del Piero," Ibini said. 

"He’s among the top players to have ever played the game."

The announcement of Ibini’s inclusion follows last Friday’s news that Gombau has also selected Wellington Phoenix midfielder Albert Riera as one of his wild card picks.

Ibini and Riera’s additions take the number of players in the squad to 16, leaving four spots remaining, which will include another goalkeeper and three more outfield players.

Foxtel A-League All Stars squad (as at 15 July 2014)

Alessandro Del Piero

Marcelo Carrusca (Adelaide United)

Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United)

Thomas Broich (Brisbane Roar)

Matt Smith (Brisbane Roar)

Josh Rose (Central Coast Mariners)

Storm Roux (Central Coast Mariners)

David Williams (Melbourne City)

Besart Berisha (Melbourne Victory)

Gui Finkler (Melbourne Victory)

Ali Abbas (Sydney FC)

Bernie Ibini (Sydney FC)

Sasa Ognenovski (Sydney FC)

Albert Riera (Wellington Phoenix)

Tomi Juric (Western Sydney Wanderers)

Matthew Spiranovic (Western Sydney Wanderers)

Match Details

Foxtel A-League All Stars v Juventus FC

Sunday 10 August 2014

ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Kick-Off: 7:30 pm AEST