Our infatuation with Marcelo Carrusca began in 2012, when the skilful Argentine was brought to Coopers. 100 Adelaide United appearances later, that infatuation has turned into an obsession.
When he signed for the Reds, stories were told of Marcelo Carrusca’s UEFA Champions League exploits with Turkish giants, Galatasaray, and how he played with Carlos Tevez in Argentina’s U20 squad. His abilities were lauded and he was hyped up to be the saviour the Club was desperate for.
But the Coopers Stadium faithful had been teased with similar tales before, very few coming to fruition.
Carrusca was different from the outset, though, his humility unmatched and his passion for football equal, if not greater, than any Red before him.
It was these traits that attracted United fans towards the Argentine, but it was his absolutely outrageous skills that have enchanted them ever since.
Plenty of footballers have the audacity to try tricks and flicks, but the Hyundai A-League has never seen anyone pull-off as many as Carrusca, and no player has used them to greater impact.
With the creative midfielder approaching his 100th appearance as a Red, set to make it against Sydney FC on Saturday, Carrusca said he never thought he would play for the Club as long as he has, but the achievement is something he’ll forever be grateful for.
“When I signed for Adelaide, I didn’t think I’d play 100 games for the Club, if I’m honest,” he said.
“But after so long, I am very proud to have represented this team so many times.
“This is my fourth season with United and my time here has been amazing. I’ve truly enjoyed every day being here and I have loved everything.”
In his time with United, Carrusca has been inducted into the Professional Footballers Australia Team of the Season for three consecutive seasons and was also selected to play in the Hyundai A-League’s All Stars teams in 2013 and 2014.
But whilst fans and experts alike often brand him as the greatest footballer to grace Australia’s football scene, the aforementioned modesty Carrusca has keeps him grounded and forever focused on his team’s accomplishments rather than his own, noting the triumph of claiming the inaugural Westfield FFA Cup as his greatest memory so far.
“It’s a nice personal achievement for me, but it’s not something I think about.
“What’s more important is the game against Sydney this week and what it means for the team, not what it means just for me.
“We are close to winning some trophies this year and it’s still very possible for us. I believe in this group and I believe that we can achieve good things in the last few games this season.
“It’s unfortunate that we haven’t won more things here in my time with the Club, but the biggest highlight would have to be winning the FFA Cup.
“As players, we knew how important it was to the Club and to the fans, but it was also important to all of us and it is something I will remember for a long time.”
Reflecting on his time at the Club overall, Carrusca said his expectations for his life in Adelaide have been vastly surpassed, crediting the United supporters as being largely responsible for his happiness, but also that of his family.
“I have always felt privileged to be part of this Club and my time here has been very special to my family and I.
“I will never regret my decision to come here to Adelaide because it has given my family and I a lot of good things that we will never forget.
“Everything I have experienced here has been so much more than I could have ever expected and I am very thankful for being here for as long as I have.
“Ever since I arrived here, the supporters have welcomed me and treated me like a local player.
“It’s always been positive and they’ve always encouraged me during games. I must thank them for this because it has helped a lot.”
Adelaide United will face Sydney FC in Round 26 of the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season on Saturday, 2 April at Allianz Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACDT.