Cacace reveals tribute to Italian legend with goal celebration

Wellington Phoenix youngster Liberato Cacace revealed his unique celebration after his maiden Hyundai A-League goal was a nod to Italian legend Francesco Totti.

Cacace found the net early in the second half of the Phoenix’s 8-2 thrashing of Central Coast Mariners on Saturday night.

The 18-year-old celebrated by sucking his thumb, admitting he had been planning to do it for a number of weeks.

"I've been thinking of a celebration for a while,” Cacace said when asked about the celebration.

“When I was younger I watched a lot of Italian football and Francesco Totti used to do that celebration a lot.

“I like that celebration so I did it. I got a bit of stick about it after. Louis Fenton told me that [it was because I'm the baby of the team], but I'll take that as well."

Cacace has been one of the finds of the season for Phoenix, starring as a left wing-back under Mark Rudan.

While he played much of his junior football in central defence, the Wellington-born teenager has thrived on the ability to get forward and showcase his attacking talent.

The same can be said for the Phoenix as a whole, with their eight goals scored against the Mariners a club record and helping them jump into the top four.

They’ll look to build on that emphatic performance and result when they host a resurgent Western Sydney Wanderers at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.

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"We've got to have the mindset and go there and get three points. There's six games to go and we can always catch [third-placed Melbourne Victory],” Cacace said.

“We're looking up instead of behind us.

“We kind of needed [the Mariners] win for the top four and now we have that spot, hopefully we can cement and have a good run until the end of the season.”