Top 10 Besart Berisha moments

Besart Berisha has left the Hyundai A-League after seven enthralling seasons down under. 

After 116 goals, four Championships and countless moments of entertainment, no one has left a mark on the competition quite like the former Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory striker.

BYE-BYE BES: Berisha to leave Hyundai A-League

LEGACY: How Berisha will be remembered 

READ: The incredible stats behind Berisha’s Hyundai A-League career

Let's take a look back at Besart Berisha's top 10 moments in the Hyundai A-League...

Besart Berisha

 

BERISHA HELPS ROAR BREAK 74-YEAR RECORD

Few teams have left a greater legacy on the competition than Ange Postecoglou's Brisbane Roar, and Berisha was a late arrival to Brisbane's stunning dominance during the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 seasons.

The Roar created Australian sporting history in 2011/12, breaking the 74-year record held by rugby league club Eastern Suburbs of 35 league matches unbeaten.

Although Berisha joined the club at the tail-end of that remarkable run, it was fitting that he starred on the night the record fell.

Berisha netted a double alongside Issey Nakajima-Farran to race to a 4-0 lead over visitors Perth Glory by half time, ensuring Brisbane set the new record - and underlined Berisha's sense for the big occasion.

BERISHA HAUNTS FORMER MENTOR

Ange Postecoglou would eventually trade Brisbane for Melbourne in 2012, and Berisha ensured it would be a torrid return to Suncorp Stadium for the former Roar stalwart.

Later that October, Brisbane mustered a performance for the ages to thrash Postecoglou's Victory 5-0 - with Berisha grabbing a brace, further highlighting his sense for stealing the headlines on a big occasion.

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BERISHA CLAIMS FASTEST HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE HAT-TRICK

 It was Berisha's fourth game in Brisbane colours when the Roar hosted Adelaide in October 2011. But it would take just six minutes for the striker to show he meant business in Australia.

Following an Henrique penalty to bring the scores level, Berisha notched a hat-trick in six minutes, the fastest ever to be recorded in the Hyundai A-League. 

Berisha grabbed a fourth goal after the half time interval - Roar would eventually win 7-1.

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BERISHA BREAKS GLORY HEARTS IN 2011/12 GRAND FINAL

Perth Glory appeared destined for a maiden Championship before Berisha popped up with a sensational headed equaliser five minutes from full time in the 2011/12 Grand Final.

The goal had stunned Glory - and Berisha wasn't done there.

With seconds remaining on the clock, Berisha went down following the incoming challenge of Liam Miller, with referee Jarred Gillett pointing to the spot.

Berisha calmly rolled the spot kick home to the fury of the Glory fans, cementing his status as the Hyundai A-League's arch-antagonist.

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VINTAGE BERISHA RESCUES ROAR AGAINST WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS

Brisbane found themselves in a similar situation to that of 2011/12 two years on against league newcomers Western Sydney Wanderers.

Tony Popovic's side appeared to be destined for a stunning 1-0 win at Suncorp Stadium, but Berisha was once again the saviour of Brisbane - heading home an equaliser in the 85th minute.

It seemed almost inevitable as Thomas Broich clipped the ball into the penalty area that the striker would guide the ball home. Berisha had developed a reputation for constantly delivering late goals, and this was exhibit A.

Besart Berisha

 

BERISHA SCORES AGAINST BRISBANE ON RETURN

If Berisha netting late goals had become something of a mandatory practice, no one should've been surprised when the striker scored against his former club upon his long-awaited return to Suncorp Stadium.

After Carl Valeri had opened the scoring for the visitors, Berisha's moment arrived in the 22nd minute, slotting home after being released by Fahid Ben Khalfallah.

"I think he played the game in his mind two or three times," said Victory coach Kevin Muscat after the match.

"I felt for him to be honest because he's had to wait so long before coming back.

"He's got enormous respect for the time that he spent here and I think he showed that tonight. He was a different class and we worked ever so hard."

BERISHA BECOMES ALL-TIME LEADING GOALSCORER

In what would be his penultimate season down under, Berisha made more Hyundai A-League history when he became the competition's all-time leading goalscorer in January 2017.

Berisha overtook former teammate and Victory legend Archie Thompson with a penalty against Newcastle Jets in a 4-2 win, netting his 91st Hyundai A-League goal.

It seemed to take the striker an age to step up to the spot but Berisha dispatched the spot kick in nerveless style before wheeling away in celebration.

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A CENTURY OF HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE GOALS

Three months on, Berisha became the first Hyundai A-League player in history to register 100 goals in the competition.

The strike was Berisha's 52nd in Melbourne Victory colours, striking home a Jai Ingham cutback in the 80th minute to break Central Coast Mariners' stubborn resistance.

Berisha remains the only player to break triple figures in the scoring charts in the competition.

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'MY BEST GOAL EVER'

He's got a fair few to choose from, but Berisha ranks this winning strike against Adelaide United in last season's elimination final at AAMI Park as his greatest ever.

 Was the brilliantly-executed overhead kick the best he's ever scored?

"This is my first goal like that. Yes, I think so, I personally think so," remarked Berisha after the game.

"It's in the finals and last time we lost in Sydney in the finals on penalties, you don't want to play penalties, that's why I am happy to score that goal."

It would be the last time Berisha found the back of the net in the Hyundai A-League.

BERISHA CLAIMS FOURTH CHAMPIONSHIP

Only former Brisbane teammate Michael Theo can attest to more Championship trophy wins than Berisha, who secured a fourth title earlier this May with a 1-0 win over Newcastle Jets.

Although for once, Berisha's name didn't turn up on the scoresheet, it was a match that exemplified the grit, ruggedness and ruthless team ethic that came to characterise his final days in the Hyundai A-League.

Kevin Muscat and Besart Berisha