EXCLUSIVE | Sasa Ognenovski is elated he’ll share a pitch with Italian maestro Andrea Pirlo but the Sydney FC defensive rock says Juventus should expect a fierce Foxtel A-League All Stars when the two sides meet next month.
Ognenovski was one of the six players named on Monday in Josep Gombau’s Foxtel A-League All Stars squad for the August 10 clash at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
The former AFC Asian Player of the Year was joined by Central Coast Mariners fullbacks Storm Roux and Josh Rose following an online vote.
Ognenovski's Sky Blue team-mate Ali Abbas and Wanderers pair and Socceroos Matthew Spiranovic and Tomi Juric rounded out the first half dozen players named.
More Foxtel A-League All Stars will be named across Australia this week as excitement ramps up for the clash in 31 days’ time.
And Ognenovski cannot wait to get into camp to prepare for what he calls a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“Tevez is a handy player,” Ognenovski told www.a-leagueallstars.com.au with a smile not wanting to downplay the Argentine’s undoubted quality.
“But for me, Pirlo, just watching him even during the World Cup how he controls games and dictates play.
“I’ll look forward to playing against him the most.”
However, any thoughts A-League players will be star-struck by a Juventus squad that as just won a third Serie A in a row and supplied 12 players to various nations at the World Cup were quashed by the Sky Blues’ defensive leader.
For Ognenovski, there are no friendlies.
“No-one’s going to go out and say ‘it’s a friendly game, back off’. Obviously no stupid tackles - you don’t want to see that - but as a contest we’ll make sure we give them as hard a game as we can.
“Obviously it’d be good to get a win on the board [after last year’s 5-1 loss to Manchester United].
“We all play to win – nobody goes out to want to lose one or two nil.
“We want to win and we play to win and hopefully we can beat Juventus on our home turf.”
The Foxtel A-League All Stars will be led by another Italian maestro Alessandro Del Piero – a former teammate last season of Ognenovski at Sydney FC.
It all bodes for a magical occasion in what might still be Del Piero’s final game despite recent speculation linking him with Celtic.
“If you’re not playing in the Serie A, these are once in a lifetime games against once in a lifetime opponents,” said 35-year-old Ognenovski, a former ACL winner and now retired Socceroo.
“To play with ADP against Juventus... I was fortunate to play with him at Sydney last season and to play in a game like this is an amazing experience.
“You always want to play against the best players in the world and best teams in the world.
“It’ll be a good test. They’ll be in pre-season and most of us are in pre-season.
“It’s pretty much a representative team of the A-League, so we have to put in our best performance and push them to the limits.”
Champions of Italy, Juventus, take on the FOXTEL A-League All Stars led by the Italian champion Alessandro Del Piero at ANZ Stadium, Sydney on Sunday 10 August.
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