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10 best A-League players from overseas

Football often takes a backseat to other sports in Australia, with the A-League competition often overshadowed throughout the summer months. However, it hasn’t stopped many top players from around the world looking to see just what is on offer Down Under. Many world class names like Robbie Fowler, David Villa and Keisuke Honda have made brief cameos in previous years but some other overseas players have settled and made a long lasting impact on the competition. With that in mind, let’s take a look and see just who have been the best A-League players from overseas*.


10 best A-League players from overseas


Marcelo Carrusca (Adelaide United, Melbourne City, Western Sydney Wanderers)

Certainly not the most famous Argentine winger in recent years, Marcelo Carrusca spent much of the 2010’s terrorizing defences with lightning pace and mesmerizing skills. Having previously played for the likes of Estudiantes and Galatasaray, Carrusca arrived in Australia looking for a fresh start and enjoyed much success when he joined Adelaide United. He scored 25 goals in 114 appearances for United and also picked up a winner’s medal in 2016, was part of the inaugural FFA Cup winning team in 2014 as well as 3 straight A-League Team of the Year nominations from 2012-2015. Whilst injuries hampered the end of his career, Carrusca can look back on his time in Australia as a success who still enjoys a loyal following back in South Australia.


Bobo (Sydney FC)

Don’t let the name fool you, Bobo was one of the most clinical strikers to feature in the A-League even if it was just for a few seasons. The Brazilian joined having developed a fearsome reputation from his time in Turkey with Besiktas and Kayserispor and so much was expected when he debuted in 2016. He didn’t disappoint registering 42 goals in just 57 appearances for Sydney forming a formidable partnership with former Besiktas teammate Filip Holosko during his brief stint at The Allianz Stadium. A best return of 27 goals in 28 games during the 2017/18 season saw him crowned The Golden Boot winner that year building on the winners medal he received the previous season. After that, he would move back to Turkey joining Alanyaspor in 2018 but his time in Australia will no doubt be looked backed on with fond memories as one of the best A-League players to have joined from abroad.


Carlos Hernandez (Melbourne Victory, Wellington Phoenix)

For a brief time, Carlos Hernandez was untouchable in the A-League as he bamboozled teams with his deadly ball skills and eye for goal. The Costa Rican midfielder was not only excellent at passing but was also well adept at set pieces making him a threat from anywhere in the final third. His 13 goals from 28 games earned him the Johnny Warren Medal (Best Player) in the 2009/10 season as well as a spot in the Costa Rica side for the 2010 World Cup. A brief trip to India was unsuccessful as was Hernandez’s return to the A-League with Wellington Phoenix in the 2013/14 season before he returned to Costa Rica. Despite the latter pitfalls, Hernandez’s spell in Victoria was one that still lives fondly in Victory fans’ memories to this day.


Roy Krishna (Wellington Phoenix)

Fiji is more well-known for their rugby players but Roy Krishna was out to prove that they can produce quality footballers too. Krishna was a player who could be deployed anywhere in attack playing both as a winger and centrally for Wellington Phoenix. Despite a slow start to his A-League career, Krishna eventually banged in 51 goals in 114 appearances including a career bet of 19 goals in 27 games in the 2018/19 season. This form bagged him the Johnny Warren Medal in 2019 and paved the way for a big money move to ATK in the Indian Super League.


Thomas Broich (Brisbane Roar)

Germany is known for producing technically gifted players so it was no surprise to see Thomas Broich showing these skills off on a regular basis. After stop/start runs for several German clubs, Broich moved to Brisbane from Nuremburg in 2010 and the midfielder acted like a player reborn. With slick passing, crisp set pieces and an excellent footballing brain, Broich was very much the engineer of success for the Roar during the early 2010s. He notched up multiple accolades during his 7-year stint including 3 Grand Final wins, 3 Team of the Year nominations and 2 Johnny Warren Medals – the only player to win the award twice. It was quite some impact from a player who never featured once for the German national side.


Alessandro Del Piero (Sydney FC)

Alessandro Del Piero is regarded as one of the best strikers of all time, let alone one of the best A-League players, so Australia was stunned when Sydney announced that they signed the veteran winger in 2012. Despite joining at 38, Del Piero still terrorized defences with his skill and eye for goal scoring 24 goals in 48 games across two seasons. Whilst the ex-Juventus star failed to win any trophies, he still picked up individual awards without much effort including the 2012/13 Goal of the Season Award and earning a spot in the AFC Hall of Fame in 2015 for his efforts with Sydney FC and Indian Super League side Delhi Dynamos who he joined after leaving Sydney in 2014.


Besart Berisha (Brisbane Roar, Melbourne Victory, Western United)

Even Besart Berisha would’ve doubted anyone who would’ve told him about the success he was about to achieve when he joined Brisbane Roar from Arminia Bielefield in 2011. The Albania-turned-Kosovo international has since gone on to become the best striker in A-League history scoring 135 goals for Brisbane, Melbourne Victory and Western United in a 9-year spell. Whilst his debut season gave his best return of 21 goals in 29 games, Berisha’s consistency has been unmatched as he has broken record after record including total goals, fastest hat-trick and team of the season appearances. That list can be extended even further considering that he has been a part of 4 Grand Final winning sides and a FFA Cup triumph as well. Truly one of the greatest A-League players to ever make the move to Australian shores.


Milos Ninkovic (Sydney FC)

An all-round offensive genius, Milos Ninkovic has been one of the driving forces behind Sydney’s success in the latter part of the 2010s whether it has been playing in midfield or as a winger. His pace, passing skills and eye for goal has made the Serbian international one of the main attractions for Sydney since joining from French side Evian in 2015. His regular contributions to goals and assists has often saw him steal the headlines year after year having won the Johnny Warren Medal in 2016/17 season as well as the Joe Marston Medal (Grand Final MoM) in 2019. With a list of accolades ever-increasing for Ninkovic, the versatile winger has proven himself to be one of the best to play for both Sydney and the A-League in recent memory


Diego Castro (Perth Glory)

Considering Diego Castro had been a regular start throughout his career in La Liga, it was a bit of a surprise to see the Spaniard move to Perth Glory from Getafe in 2015. Castro came with a reputation for quality and he hasn’t disappointed, thanks to his eye for goal and coolness under pressure. Castro’s trickery and skill terrorized defenders throughout the competition and saw him awarded the Johnny Warren Medal in 2016 as well as a Premier’s medal in 2019. He has proven himself to be one of the best La Liga imports to the A-League and show that he can be a top star anywhere in the world.


Bruno Fornaroli (Melbourne City, Perth Glory)

After struggling in Europe and South America, Fornaroli left his hometown club of Danubio to try his luck in the A-League with newly-reformed Melbourne City. The end result was a star-making turn for the Uruguayan who quickly became one of the biggest goal threats in A-League history. Fornaroli smashed in 25 goals during his debut season for City claiming the Golden Boot for the season and a spot in the Team of the Season. He backed that up with 17 goals the next before injuries and disputes saw him leave Melbourne in 2019 for Perth Glory instead. With another 13 goals for The Glory, Fornaroli is the second best foreign striker in A-League history proving just why he will be regarded as one of the best A-League players in the competition’s history.



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