After years abroad, fringe Socceroo Carl Valeri is happy settling down in Melbourne and says he has no further European ambitions.
Valeri and his wife, who hails from Melbourne, and their two children moved into a new house this week, having collected the keys on Friday morning ahead of Victory’s clash with Brisbane Roar.
It’s confirmation that the 30-year-old midfielder, who had spent the past decade in Italy, is content back in Australia having inked a three-year deal with Victory in June after “losing his edge” overseas.
“Europe is over for me,” Valeri told FourFourTwo. “For me it would be hard to go back to Europe. If there was any doubt in my mind, it’s over now.
“My family and I are very happy here. We couldn’t have come to a better place.
“I’ve found an extra passion for something I was already passionate about. I want to do extra, I want to stay at the training ground, I want to do the promotional stuff – everything.”
Valeri’s renewed enthusiasm has gone some way to bringing back his best on the field, having endured a lean final few years in Italy, battling injury and selection issues at Sassuolo and Ternana.
It has also revived his Socceroos ambitions. Having played all three matches at the 2010 World Cup, he missed Brazil 2014 altogether.
However, Valeri earned a recall for September’s friendlies against Belgium and Saudi Arabia, and is a chance to make the Asian Cup squad.
While the former Inter Milan junior prefers not to speak too much about the Socceroos, he acknowledges his move home has been great for his international chances.
“I needed this at this point in my career,” Valeri said.
“I’m 30-years-old, I’d been overseas a long time, done lots of good things and I lost that edge in Italy.
“I’ve found a new enthusiasm and even more love for my football.”
“It’s refreshing. I love working with Musky and his staff. The club speaks for itself.
“I’m really happy at the moment – hopefully things can keep going well for us.”
Valeri has vast experience in Italy’s second tier, but said he was loving the Victory fans.
“Our crowd is fantastic,” he said. “It’s one of the most supportive crowds I’ve played in front of.
“They really get behind us and come out in numbers every week.
“I’m not just saying that because I’m here now. It’s the type of crowd you get – the families with kids, plus the fanatics behind us who you can hear sing every song perfectly.
“My friends and family are addicted to coming because of the atmosphere.”comments