Victory midfielder Marcos Flores says playing Australia has improved him, and that more Argentine players could flourish in the A-League.
Melbourne Victory star Marcos Flores says playing in the Hyundai A-League has made him a better player, and that more Argentine players could flourish in Australia.
The competition-s record with Argentine players is hit-and-miss at best, with the likes of Jorge Drovandi (Newcastle Jets), Oscar Cornejo (Wellington Phoenix), Adrian Trinidad (Perth Glory), Jonatan Germano (Melbourne Heart) and Patricio Perez (Central Coast Mariners) all coming and going without leaving much of a mark.
Adelaide United look to have readdressed the balance somewhat with the impressive Jeronimo Neumann and Marcelo Carrusca, and during his time with Adelaide United and his headline-making return to the league with Melbourne Victory, Flores shown Australian fans what Argentine players are capable of.
“When I was in Argentina and Adelaide first contacted me, I didn-t want to come,” Flores admitted.
“I was afraid to be the first one. I was in the Chilean first division and following Adelaide-s games on YouTube.
“My first impression was that it was a really tough league, with all the systems a similar four-four-two. The first thing I said to my family was I cannot play in that league because they don-t use a No.10. But Adelaide said they would try and they wanted to bring me, so I decided to try to adapt my style of football.
“The game is changing slowly, in a good way. It-s still tough because the fitness of the players here is unbelievable and creates really intense games. But now every team plays more, they have No.10s, the possession has improved a lot.”
Given the range of nationalities in the A-League it-s somewhat surprising that more Argentines haven-t prospered but Flores said it-s a learning process on both sides, and that Australian clubs must learn to trust South American players.
“I-m happy here. If I-d come and hadn-t played well, every club would have doubts about Argentine players. I am happy to represent players from my country and what they can do. But I also expect these players to adapt straight away to the league and work hard to get their fitness and show all their potential.
“If we keep doing going things the clubs are going to trust more Argentineans, we are creating a good impression for Argentina and maybe players there are going to take the risk to apply to Australia to show what they can do.
“My country has good players but the thing is we need trust - we need the clubs to trust in what we can do.”
Flores admitted he was surprised by the competition on offer in the A-League and that the improving standards could yet become a proving ground for Argentine players looking to test themselves in a different league.
“If they come to Australia, they need to prove themselves that they are capable to play in the A-League, because it-s not easy at all. And put their heart and mental strength 100 per cent.
“It was hard in the beginning, because of the transitions in the game, no one wanted to take possession, they were always going forward straight away, and sometimes on the Gold Coast and Brisbane the temperature was 30 degrees. That was pretty hard but now every team has more possession, we think more with the ball and it-s getting better.
“I can recommend the A-League because it has made me really happy and a better player. It made me stronger. Everything with my team I am available to do it.
“When I was in Argentina, everything was about my skill and when I was going into a tackle always I wouldn-t go. But now it-s different - in every 50/50 I can feel my feet and give more to my teammates. It-s helped me a lot to become a better player.”
It-s good if you want to show yourself how good you are; the league gives you the best facilities to train in every club, everything is official and that makes the league every day a little more important.”