Vieri Very Happy To Call Australia Home
Australian soccer fans could be forgiven if they are seeing things when they see the Socceroo squad with the name Vieri in it.
Australian soccer fans could be forgiven if they are seeing things when they see the Socceroo squad with the name Vieri in it. It is well documented that Italian striker Christian Vieri grew up in Sydney, when his famous father Roberto came here to play and coach Marconi in the 1980-s. However it is not Christian that will line-up for the Socceroos, but instead his younger brother Max (pictured right), who was born here in Australia and has returned for the first time in 13 years and hoping that a stint with the national team will ignite his career. "This is a big opportunity for me,” said Max, at his brother-s restaurant in Sydney-s Darling Harbour. “If I play well over the next seven games I am hoping it will help my career,” he added. Max, who plays with Serie B side Napoli although his contract is half owned by Italian giant Juventus, tasted life with the Socceroos in its last international against South Africa. He didn-t see action in that game, but is keen to get a taste of it for the next five weeks or so he is in the country. Like any professional footballer, he wants to play at the highest level and the Socceroos may provide a platform for him to do so, although he did suggest an offer was on the table from a Serie A club. His chances of playing for Italy like his father and brother was always going to be difficult, but they had no problem with him pledging his allegiance to his place of birth. "It was going to be hard to play for the Italian national team. They've got all the best strikers in the world, so when the offer came from Australia, it wasn't hard to accept.” "They were very happy for me and told me I had to do what I had to do. I am an Australian. was born here and I am very proud to be part of the Socceroos." Vieri though would like nothing better than a dream match up against his brother in the Azzurri. “Australia versus Italy - that would be a beautiful thing,” he quipped. The Socceroos play Turkey in Sydney tomorrow night (Friday May 21) and again on Monday May 24 in Melbourne. A week later Australia will be joined by five other teams from Oceania in Adelaide for Stage 2 of the Oceania Nations Cup/World Cup qualifiers.