Bruno Fornaroli has lavished praise on Diego Castro but it is not only the Spanish maestro’s displays on the field that has won over Perth Glory’s new striker .
The Uruguayan hitman got off the mark for his new club by opening the scoring in the 2-1 win against Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium in Round 3.
The 32-year-old reacted well to convert from Castro’s twisting run and pass as the Spanish-speakers connected in Fornaroli’s third game in Glory colours.
But that assist was not the first time the South American had received a helping hand from the 2015-16 Johnny Warren medal winner.
“Diego [Castro] is different level, everyone knows that,” Fornaroli told FOX Sports.
“He has helped me not only on the field but also outside, with my family. He is close to me and it’s great to have Diego here.”
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Fornaroli admits he was finding it tough last season having been banished from the Melbourne City squad by then head coach Warren Joyce.
Having only played four games in the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 campaign, Fornaroli found himself in football purgatory before receiving a call from Popovic.
Glory went on lift the Premiers Plate and reach the Grand Final, but their success was not the only factor that attracted him to Western Australia.
Fornaroli revealed what Tony Popovic said in the phone call that convinced him to head west and join Perth Glory.
“Because of this [phone call], I am here,” Fornaroli explained.
“When we talked [Popovic] never asked me ‘what happened to you’, ‘what is the problem’ - never.
“He said to me ‘look, I know you, if you come here you will enjoy your game.’
“I said ‘I will come here to win’. I am here because I want to win.”
It may be a slow start to a season by Fornaroli’s standards, but the 49-goal Hyundai A-League striker accepts that is the challenge he faces after eight months without a game.
“It’s hard, but I understand. For me, I have to take this and comeback strong,” he said.
“No other ways. In football, if you don’t have the mentality it’s better if you are at home.
“I say I have to prepare myself. This is why I came early to prepare myself because I know the team did very well.
“I have to do better this year and show I am here. Not for the people, but for myself.”
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Glory host Central Coast Mariners in Round 4 on Sunday, 3 November, but Fornaroli cannot help but cast an eye towards Round 8.
That will be his first return to face his former club City, where he will walk out onto the AAMI Park not quite knowing what kind of reception to expect.
“I hope good. Because I have a good relationship with the fans,” he said.
“They showed me respect first and love to the end. Until now, people text me and say it’s hard to see you in another colour but I wish you all the best.”