Bresciano on World Cup, Brazilians and Marriage

It’s a long way from junior football in the Melbourne suburb of Bulleen to one of the cathedrals of world football, Milan’s San Siro Stadium, but it’s a journey Australia’s World Cup hero Marco Bresciano knows very well.

It-s a long way from junior football in the Melbourne suburb of Bulleen to one of the cathedrals of world football, Milan-s San Siro Stadium, but it-s a journey Australia-s World Cup hero Marco Bresciano knows very well.

Now ensconced in the Socceroo base at the Wald & Schloss hotel in Friedrichsruhe, Bresciano is hoping his footballing journey will take in a new stop with a visit to Berlin-s Olympic Stadium on July 9 for the FIFA World Cup Final.

The fast, direct midfielder with the knack of scoring spectacular - not to say timely - goals has, in his six years in Italian football, carved out an impressive reputation as a man whose future could lie at the highest level.

The 26-year-old, whose first half strike in Sydney gave Australia the 1-0 victory over Uruguay which forced the World Cup qualifier into extra time and that fateful penalty shoot out, is attracting the attention of some of Italy-s largest clubs.

Bresciano, who hails from the Melbourne district of Rosanna and learned his craft with the junior sides of Vodafone Cup club Bulleen, is currently a regular at Parma, where he plays with childhood friend and Socceroo colleague Vince Grella.

Both players- contracts are up at the end of the 2006-07 season, but cash strapped Parma, who were involved in a relegation dog fight, could opt to cash in on their dynamic attacking midfielder before his contract expires.

The week in Melbourne was intense for all in the squad though that was particularly true for Bresciano. The Friday before the match saw Bresciano marry his childhood sweetheart (yes childhood, as in primary school), with the happy newlyweds only granted 48 hours together before camp convened. Then of course, there was the small matter of another dream coming true with an appearance for Australia in front of a record Socceroo home crowd of 95,000.

“The build up to the Greece match was huge,” he said. “I got married on the Friday and then the players all came in to camp on the Sunday and it was very busy.

“It's very special to be part of the World Cup squad and you could see with the huge interest and crowd in Melbourne that all of Australia is behind us.”

Bresciano and several team-mates have similar experiences though from the 2000 Olympics with Mark Viduka, Josip Skoko, Stan Lazaridis, Vince Grella and Lucas Neill all part of the Australian squad that met Italy in front of a 93,000 MCG crowd in the opening match of the Olympic football tournament.

“That was a huge occasion, but this was even bigger.” he says.

“To play at the major venue in your home city, in front of family and friends in such a big game just before the World Cup - how could you not enjoy that?--

While Bresciano-s direct, hard running powerful style might make him seem eminently suited to the fast and furious English Premiership, the son of an Italian father and a Croatian mother would prefer his future to lie in the land of his father-s birth.

‘-It has always been my ambition to play for one of the really big clubs in Italy and that has not changed,-- says Bresciano amid continuing speculation linking him to the likes of Turin giants Juventus.

There is, however, the rather major matter of a World Cup to worry about before that - a tournament which, if all goes well for the Socceroos, should be a perfect platform for the shaven headed Bresciano to showcase his talents.

Having played in Italy for so long, Bresciano is well aware of the threat posed by the Brazilians, many of whom he has had as team-mates or opponents in the Serie A. However, he takes comfort from the fact that one of his former colleagues at Parma, Adriano, now at Inter Milan, believes the Socceroos have what it takes to surprise many of world football-s more storied nations.

‘-I was talking to him the other week, and he reckons we will finish second in our group. Let-s hope he-s right.--

No need to ask who the Brazilian thinks will finish top!

The Bresciano File

Born: 11.2.80
Socceroo honours23 appearances (7 goals) [2001–2006] as at 1 June 2006
23 A internationals (7 goals)
All appearances and goals [as at 1 June 2006]:
2001France, South Korea, Brazil, New Zealand, France
2003England, Ireland, Jamaica (1 Goal)
2004Venezuela, South Africa, Turkey, New Zealand (1), Norway
2005South Africa, Iraq(1), Solomon Islands, Jamaica (1),Uruguay,Uruguay (1)
Other Australian representative honours:
U-171997 U-17 World Championship qualifiers
U-201999 World Youth Championship (Nigeria)
U-232000 Olympic Games (Sydney)
Junior club:Bulleen Veneto (Vic)
1995Bulleen (Victoria - Australia)
1996Bulleen (Victoria - Australia)
1997Australian Institute of Sport
1997–98Carlton (Australia)14 matches3 goals
1998–99Carlton (Australia)184
1999–00Empoli (Italy)172
2000–01 Empoli (Italy)305
2001–02 Empoli (Italy)329
2002–03Parma (Italy)230
2003–04Parma (Italy)338
2004–05Parma (Italy)343
2005–06Parma (Italy)328
Total national league appearances and goals:23342