'Super emotional': Berisha braces for potential Victory reunion in AFC Champions League
Melbourne Victory favourite son Besart Berisha could be in line for a homecoming if his Sanfrecce Hiroshima side qualify for the group stages of the AFC Champions League.
Berisha, who made the move to the J-League side after helping Victory claim a record fourth Hyundai A-League Championship earlier this year, would walk out on the hallowed AAMI Park turf once again if Sanfrecce can negotiate a one-legged play-off on February 19.
Their opposition in that crucial game would be either Thai side Chiangrai United, the familiar Ceres Negros of the Philippines or Myanmar’s Yangon United.
Speaking to the Herald Sun, Berisha said facing his former club would be emotional.
"I feel like playing against Victory will be so emotional for me, probably one of the most emotional (moments) in my career," he said.
“I knew a long time ago that this was a possibility."
Should Sanfrecce emerge victorious they will be placed in Group F, the same group the Hyundai A-League Champions have found themselves in.
The 33-year old scored 86 goals in his 137 appearances for Victory and is likely to receive a warm reception if selected.
The four-time Hyundai A-League Grand Final winner said he still has fond memories of his time in navy blue.
"Victory was a very special time, the people, the supporters," he said.
"It’s never easy, but this one will be super emotional, playing against the team and supporters. Also the chairman Anthony Di Pietro, who was a big part of my success at Victory.”
Sanfrecce’s qualification would also pave the way for a blockbuster return to Japan for Victory’s marquee Keisuke Honda.
Honda, who hails from Osaka, hasn’t played club football in Japan since leaving Nagoya Grampus in 2007 and a possible return is likely to raise excitement levels around the competition to fever pitch.
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