Six years after European ‘dream come true’, Barbarouses calls Victory home

Kosta Barbarouses has always reaped the benefits of his own lofty standards and personal ambitions.

The in-form Melbourne Victory Kiwi is perhaps one of the Hyundai A-League’s most deadly marksmen at the moment.

A brace against Brisbane Roar on Friday night, where he was a Premiership and Championship winner in 2011, moved the attacker into fourth place on Victory’s all-time leading goal-scorer list.

It was close to seven years ago that a 21-year-old Barbarouses, having clinched the double with Roar, backed himself to step into Europe with Russian side Alania Vladikavkaz.

That would see him inadvertently score a dream move to Greek giants Panathinaikos.

“It was a weird move even for me at the time but I just thought 21 with the opportunity to get my foot into Europe and Russian football was quite strong at the time,” he said.

“I was really excited to get over there and test myself. It didn’t go exactly as I planned but then obviously I moved to Greece from there for a year at my favourite club growing up Panathinaikos.

“Things went actually quite well there. I got a lot of games and the club was really happy with me.”

“They’re a big club Panathinaikos and when the opportunity came I couldn’t say no.

“I was probably the most excited I had been joining a club in my career to be honest.

“And I just wanted to get there to see what it was like first more than anything. Dream come true at such a big club.”

The Wellington born flyer was eventually lured back to Australian shore by former Brisbane mentor Ange Postecoglou, who had then taken the reins of Victory in 2012.

Barbarouses would return to his hometown club Phoenix in 2016/17 but after beginning his second Victory stint at the beginning of the 2017/18 season, the striker now feels right at home in Melbourne.

“Victory came calling after Greece and obviously it was Ange again that was in charge here and brought me over and its sort of become my second home now.

“It's my third season [of second stint] here, two Championships with the club so feel really good here really confident here, I like how big the club thinks and how ambitious they are.”

WATCH FOR FREE: How to watch the Hyundai A-League LIVE and FREE
READ: Look who's back at the Newcastle Jets
READ: Berisha braces for potential Victory reunion in AFC Champions League