Cassio's home where the heart is

It was early on in Cassio's first season with Adelaide United he knew he'd finally found a place he could call home.

It was early on in Cassio's first season with Adelaide United he knew he'd finally found a place he could call home.

After spending the best part of the previous five years living the life of a football nomad, it took just a handful of weeks in his new surrounds for him to know he could finally give his well-used passport a rest.

The skilful left-back and his young family had racked up plenty of frequent flyer points in those previous years.

There were stints in the US, Mexico and Paraguay, mixed in with periods at various clubs in the country of his birth, Brazil.

For someone who had dreamed of being a professional footballer since his early days kicking a ball in the dusty streets of Rio de Janiero, it was all part of the experience.

But what he really wanted was a place - and a club - where he could settle down and that just felt right.

"It's been really incredible the way things have turned out for me and my family," Cassio said before boarding a plane for Friday night's clash with Sydney FC.

"I would never have imagined things will turn out like this when I came here. I had been around a bit and never thought I would be playing football in Australia.

"But I knew very early this was a special place for me and I have loved all of it.

"The lifestyle here is great and the people have made it so wonderful for me ... I owe them a lot."

Six years down the track and Cassio has already repaid them.

Not only has he played more than 100 games for the Reds - the second most appearances for the club - but just this week he pledged his future to the club.

The 32-year-old inked a new two-year deal which will keep him at Hindmarsh Stadium until the end of the 2014/15 season and likely see him finish his career in Adelaide.

Sure, there were offers from other clubs and some more lucrative too.

But with his wife Juliana and their two sons, Bernardo and Henrique, settled, club loyalty and family was always going to come first.

"When you are younger you think about money and all that but I'm at a different point now," Cassio said.

"When things are good, why change?

"My lawyer received emails from other teams but I told him 'I don't want to talk to anyone because I want to stay here'.

"For me, my family, loyalty to the club and of course the fans is the most important thing."

To outline just how much his time in Adelaide has affected Cassio and his family, they all became Australian citizens earlier this year.

"I like to call myself a 'Braussie' now," he joked.

"Of course you never forget your roots and where you come from ... that is important.

"But I am happy to be Australian too because of what has happened to me and my family since I moved here."

Cassio hopes his Australian citizenship may also bring about an opportunity to play for the Socceroos.

And given Australia's struggles to find a permanent solution to their troubles on the left-side of defence, the dependable full-back could be an option for Socceroos boss Holger Osieck down the track.

Unfortunately for Cassio his strong start to the season with the Reds wasn't enough to earn him a spot in the 25-man squad for next month's East Asian Cup qualifiers.

And while Cassio said he will always be ready if called upon by his new country, he believes that opportunity may have passed him by.

"I would have liked to have been in there (East Asian qualifiers squad) but it wasn't to be ... I'm not sure if I will get a chance now," he said.

"I'm really just concentrating on doing my best for Adelaide and hoping we can stay up near the top.

"It would have been great and I hope it still happens but I don't think it will now. And I'm OK with that."

For now, the only thing the Brazilian-born defender is worried about is keeping Adelaide's strong start to the season going against a wounded Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on Friday night.

"This is a real dangerous game for us," Cassio warned his team-mates.

"They (Sydney) may be last but they have so much firepower and strong players that things will turn around for them soon.

"We aren't thinking this will be an easy game just because they are down the bottom. We know it will be tough and unless we play like we have the last few weeks it will be very difficult."