Luongo thrilled by home town final: Sydney always delivers

Socceroo Massimo Luongo says he is ready to enjoy the biggest game of his fledgling career when Australia meets South Korea in the final of the Asian Cup.

Luongo has been one of the stars of the Socceroos’ campaign, playing in all five matches and scoring one goal.

The 22-year old, who picked up the man of the match award in last night’s victory over the UAE, says he is enjoying the ride.

“If you’re not enjoying it you shouldn’t be doing it,” he said post-match.

“I always enjoy it. Physically now I’m a bit tired but I’m quite used to playing back to back games. What we’ve got here in the Aussie team, the recovery is going to be on point and I’ll probably be feeling very good for the next game.

“Mentally, I’m just enjoying the whole thing. I think I’m more overwhelmed than worrying about how I feel mentally. I enjoy it out there so it’s not taking its toll.”

The Socceroos take on South Korea after losing to them 1-0 in their last group match, but Luongo doesn’t believe the Australians will approach the final any differently to the way they did in Brisbane.

“We’ve got the same style and the same method that we want to go about the game and the only thing that will be different is whether or not they test us a little bit or try to stop us playing,” he said.

“Obviously the pressure of the trophy at the end (is different). We know the mistakes we made in that game, we don’t want to change too much because I think we dominated that game.

“The way we play is going to give every team a problem. We’ll do our analysis and go through the same things in every game and we’ll be well prepared.”

The Swindon Town midfielder doesn’t believe the Koreans have a big advantage with an extra day’s rest before Saturday’s match and is just relishing the thought of playing in his home town again.

“The way we prepare and the way we recover and … prepare for it – we’ll be 100%,” he said.

“Sydney’s always good, Sydney always delivers. (Last night) we got two goals early and I think the crowd were just riding the wave. I think Sydney will be something special.”

Luongo has yet to play in front of 83,000 people but the magnitude of the occasion isn’t worrying him.

“It’s a game and at the end hopefully we get a medal and a trophy.”