Who's been the best import in A-League history?
IT is always a contentious issue but after Bruno Fornaroli led Melbourne City to the FFA Cup title just a couple of weeks after becoming the fastest man to score 30 A-League goals, I thought it was time to give my views on the top five imports to have graced the competition since its inception.
The five are just my opinion so if you have any views just have your say.
There are a few who came close to getting in the top five - Dwight Yorke, Shane Smeltz, Diego Castro and Andy Keogh - and I am sure there a few more who others think should be on the list, but here goes.
Fornaroli's goalscoring record in the A-League is second to none. His first goal against the Newcastle Jets last month meant he was the quickest to 30 goals in A-League history. He took 35 games, beating the mark of 45 set by Smeltz. His second goal against the Jets was just sublime. He is the best finisher the competition has seen but his all-round play makes him the complete striker. Not only is the Uruguayan a great player, he is a super ambassador for the game in Australia. Let's hope his success will attract more South Americans Down Under. He might not have won an A-League crown yet but if he carries on like this he will.
Berisha's goals tally for the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory is also impressive and some might say he deserves to be top of this list. Truth is, he could have been but football is all about opinion and Fornaroli gets my vote, but only just. The thing that sways it away from Berisha is his poor disciplinary record. Too many times since arriving in Australia, the striker has got himself in trouble. He is a top striker and his goals per games record is superb. He has also won three A-League titles - two with the Roar and one with the Victory. Another crown might get him past Fornaroli but he's not there yet.
Broich has been one of the stars of the Australian competition since arriving from Germany in 2010, and is another who is a great ambassador for the game. He has won the Johnny Warren Medal twice for the best A-League player and also has three titles with the Roar. There is no doubt Broich has been one of the league's best players but at the age of 35 his influence has waned a little this season and that's why he has slipped down the list.
Alessandro Del Piero
Del Piero might have only played two seasons with Sydney FC but he changed the way people from Australia viewed the A-League. When you talk about ambassadors, Del Piero is probably top of the list. There is no doubt he paved the way for fellow European footballers to make Australia their home. By the way, he didn't do too badly on the field in what was an average Sydney team. Who knows what he could have done in a better team.
Some might wonder why the Fijian international is on this list but you only have to look at his goalscoring record to answer that question. The best strikers in the world are ones who score a goal every other game. Krishna is almost there and he has done it in a Wellington Phoenix side that has struggled at times, especially away from home. Since arriving in the A-League in 2014, Krishna has always shone for the Kiwi outfit and done his best to promote the game in a rugby heartland. Anyone who can do that deserves high praise. He deserves to be in this list.