Why Franjic ditched Europe for City

Socceroo Ivan Franjic says he had options abroad before signing with Melbourne City where he believes game time will be key to his international prospects.

Franjic, 27, had an ill-fated spell in Russia before penning a three-year deal with City last month.

The former Brisbane Roar full-back linked up with his new team-mates for the first time last week as City started pre-season training.

Franjic only managed five appearances for Torpedo Moscow due to hip and hamstring injuries, along with pay issues at the club, which left him frustrated and ultimately led to him seeking a release.

Speaking to FourFourTwo, Franjic revealed Europe was on the table after exiting Torpedo but decided City was the best fit for him.

“I had options abroad but when City approached me they were very keen,” Franjic told FourFourTwo.

“I spoke to John van ’t Schip and he was very keen to have me, so it was a matter of time before I made my decision.

“It’s the best decision for me at this stage of my career leading towards the World Cup qualifiers and Confederations Cup.”

While Franjic’s 12-month spell in Moscow wasn’t a success, he wasn’t fazed about proving himself in Europe and said international prospects were at the heart of his decision.

“Obviously it was a decision I had to make, do I want to stay in Europe or do I want to come to City,” he said.

“For me, over the next 12 months I felt it was important I play first team football, especially after the injuries I had last year. That was a major factor of me returning back to Australia.”

Franjic added that he’d enjoyed his first week at City and was confident they could build on last year’s semi-final finish.