After nearly six seasons in the Hyundai A-League, Marcelo Carrusca is keen to prove that he's still got plenty to offer.
When a 29-year-old Marcelo Carrusca arrived in Australia back in 2012, Adelaide United fans were wary.
The Argentine’s resumè was promising – he had represented his country at youth level, earned more than 100 caps for hometown club Estudiantes and had also enjoyed a stint with Turkish giants Galatasaray.
Though Carrusca was being brought in to replace countryman Marcos Flores, who the year before had taken the league by storm on his way to picking up the Johnny Warren Medal for player of the season.
They were big shoes to fill and there were tempered hopes from Reds fans, who had already suffered the heartbreak of two Grand Final losses in the first four seasons of the Hyundai A-League.
Fast forward six years and three trophies later, and it would be no stretch to say that Carrusca would rank among the finest imports the league has ever seen.
He’s managed to achieve more than most in his time on Australian shores and he’s done so in his now trademark unassuming way.
At 34 years of age, the attacking midfielder is nearing the end of a storied career but feels that Western Sydney is the right place to add yet another chapter.
“I’m lucky that I’m at this club, this very nice club, this big club where I can show my football and help the team,” said Carrusca.
“Hopefully we finish the year with something in our hands because I think we have a great team and good coaching staff also so hopefully this year we can do something good.”
After leaving Adelaide at the end 2016/17 season, Carrusca continued his stay in the Hyundai A-League by signing with Melbourne City.
Game time and fitness were hard to come by in Victoria so when the opportunity came for Carrusca to reunite with former boss Josep Gombau, it was one that the man they call Chelo couldn’t refuse.
“Josep was one of the big reasons I came here, to play under him again,” said Carrusca.
“At Melbourne City I wasn’t playing and I want to play and he called me.
“I made the decision very quick and I went direct to Wellington to join the team and play the day after.”
It’s clear to see that Carrusca is right at home in the Hyundai A-League and indeed in Australia, a country that’s he’s now able to call his own after becoming a citizen in May last year.
In his seven games so far in Red & Black, Carrusca has shown glimpses of the guile and class that saw him win the Hyundai A-League Premiership, Championship and the Westfield FFA Cup with Adelaide.
His vision and game awareness going forward has added a much-needed creative spark to the Wanderers’ attack, much to the joy of his teammates around him.
“As a player always I try to help my teammate, to help the younger players, to share with them my experience, said Carrusca.
“Always I try to assist the striker; for me it’s the most important, the number 9 to score goals and if they are happy I’m very happy also.”
Wanderers fans will also share that same happiness if Carrusca is able to continue doing what he’s been doing and help propel the Red & Black up the table.
With just six games remaining, the margins will become finer and the pressures will become greater.
It’s in these times that Josep Gombau will be looking to the experienced players in his squad to take charge, and to the match- winners and game-changers to produce the goods.
In Carrusca, Gombau has both – a bona fide game- changer with title-winning pedigree who could well prove the difference.
Will Chelo be the key the Wanderers have been looking for?
The Red & Black faithful will certainly be hoping so.