The marquee wish list
This season’s marquee players have delivered in spades – but who else could we tempt to come and play in the Hyundai A-league?
This season-s marquee players have delivered in spades - but who else could we tempt to come and play in the Hyundai A-league?
We-ve had some good international players on our shores before, some talented, high-profile imports - but none have come close to the impact of Alessandro Del Piero.
The Italian great has set the bar on and off the field, not only for his team, but for his whole club, the competition and every marquee to come.
It-s unrealistic to expect all future imports will have the same effect but Del Piero has opened the door - so who else would be on your marquee wish list? Here are a few names we-ve come up with...
Miroslav Klose (34): The evergreen Germany striker is still finding the back of the net for Lazio and at international level is one of the most prolific strikers the world has ever seen and has a happy knack of scoring in the biggest of matches, his 14 FIFA World Cup goals (second all-time behind Ronaldo) are a testament to that.
He-s still a regular in Serie A but with the years ticking by he could be tempted by a few more years Down Under - would you want the German striker leading your team?
Michael Owen (32): The former England international may have lost a few yards of pace in recent seasons but he-s still a supreme goal poacher who would no doubt be a huge crowd puller.
Injury has curtailed what was looking to be a brilliant career but still, the 2001 Ballon D-Or winner would still represent something of a coup - and Emile Heskey and Robbie Fowler-s positive experiences could help to get him out here.
Francesco Totti (36): Scorer of “that penalty” against the Qantas Socceroos in 2006, Totti has always been a one-club man and while it might prove difficult to get the Roma captain here, a word in the ear from Del Piero would surely help.
Like ADP, Totti-s powers are waning but they would still be good enough to mesmerize fans of the game and get them to games, and could you imagine how great it would be to see Del Piero and Totti lining up together in the A-League? Drool...
Andrea Pirlo (33): The man who can unlock the best defences in world football with his brilliant passing game is another of Del Piero-s Italian friends who could make an impact, and while it is unlikely that he would leave Juve in his current form a move in the future, post 2014 FIFA World Cup could be an option.
Raul Gonzalez (35): The former Real Madrid star was to Los Blancos and Spain exactly what Del Piero was to Juventus and Italy; 323 goals in all competition for the Galacticos means he is their all-time top goalscorer and a club and national legend.
A truly fair player and a shining example of what the world game is all about a trip to Australia would get a vocal Spanish contingent to plenty of matches and given Raul has already ventured over to the Middle East to play, a trip to Australia would not be out of the question.
Robbie Keane (32): The Republic of Ireland captain is still one of the most energetic strikers going and has proven himself to be somewhat of a footballing journeyman, representing no fewer than 10 clubs throughout his career.
Currently playing alongside David Beckham and Landon Donavan at Los Angeles Galaxy he has shown a willingness to try new things and always seems to score goals and then entertain fans with backflips, he would certainly fit in well in the Hyundai A-League.
Diego Forlan (33): Currently plying his trade for Internacional in Brazil, Forlan is familiar to Australian football fans for his performances for Atletico Madrid and the Celeste in countless FIFA World Cup Qualifying campaigns.
He has been a success wherever he has gone (with the exception of Manchester United) - how exciting would it be to see him strike up a partnership with, say, Archie Thompson?
Frank Lampard (34): So long the golden boy at Chelsea it appears they are heading in a new direction, one where Lampard-s style (and age) no longer fits. If that were to happen one would think at 34 the top clubs might not be too keen and the chance would be there for an overseas league to swoop in.
Like Shinji Ono, Lampard still has enough class to get things done and he can still hit a rocket of a strike, he would be very entertaining in the A-League.
Thierry Henry (35): For years he has been one of the most exciting players in the world to watch and his willingness to move to MLS shows he is not afraid to join competitions in their infancy. His pace and skill are still mesmerising, and his sheer star power would prove a huge boost for any A-League club. Now if only Tim Cahill would talk Australian football up a little bit...
Clarence Seedorf (36): Currently in Brazil and drawing bumper crowds, the Dutchman has shown he has lost none of his skill over the dead -ball, long known for his flair on and off the pitch he would certainly make things interesting if he came to Australia.
Honourable mentions: Plenty of names came up during our long discussion of the best marquees possible here are some others that came into consideration - can you come up with any we might have missed?
Tim Cahill, Shunsuke Nakamura, Alessandro Nesta , Gianluca Zambrotta, Dejan Stankovic, Gennaro Gattusso, Didier Drogba, Filippo Inzaghi