Melbourne City striker Bruno Fornaroli has spoken about his emotional return from injury in the club's loss to Sydney FC on Saturday night.
Fornaroli came on just after the hour mark at AAMI Park in his first competitive appearance of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Season, almost six months after suffering a serious ankle injury in the Westfield FFA Cup.
The Uruguayan admitted he went through an emotional rollercoaster during his long rehabilitation and described his feelings about finally getting back on the pitch in a City shirt.
“I wanted to cry in that moment,” Fornaroli admitted.
“Not only because of the fans, but because I really pushed a lot every day to come back. I worked and I waited a lot of time for, so I was very happy, very happy.
“I had some days that were very difficult because I thought I felt good and when I started training, there was pain again. There were moments for me but I don’t look back, I tried to think ahead.
“I want to say thank you to the medical staff, my teammates, the coaches and all the club for supporting me. Thank you also to the fans. It’s amazing to come back here at AAMI Park because I can feel the fans close to me and this is very important to me, it pushed me on.”
While delighted to be back on the pitch, Fornaroli was disappointed as City were handed a 4-0 drubbing by the ruthless Sky Blues.
But it's his first step towards what he hopes will be a strong end to the season as City aim to make an impact come the Finals Series.
“I feel good, but at the same time I feel that it’s not my level,” the 30-year-old striker said.
“Sometimes I turn quickly or my mind thinks something and my leg didn’t respond. It takes another second, and I want to catch this, I want to feel 110% again.
“I believe in this team, I believe in my teammates, I believe in this club and my coaches. We are going to continue, we have a lot of games in front of us and we have to prepare for the finals.
"I think we can finish in the top three and try to win the Grand Final this year.”
Fornaroli has two full weeks to prepare for his next match with City enjoying this weekend off due to the Hyundai A-League's Split Round.
City is next in action on Saturday, February 24 when they travel to nib Stadium to play Perth Glory.