With Matthew Spiranovic departing the Wanderers today to head to Chinese Super League club Hangzhou Greentown FC, we take you through Spira’s five best moments. What we will always remember him by.1. Goal in the Grand Final
Despite the pain of the Wanderers losing the Grand Final at the end of the Hyundai A-League 2013/14 season, the day will be forever remembered in the hearts and minds of Wanderers fans thanks, in part, to Spiranovic’s goal that put the club in the lead.
Shinji Ono’s corner flew perfectly to Spiranovic who seemed to defy physics to head the ball in from a near-impossible angle to score his first and only goal for the club.
A photo posted by Matthew Spiranovic (@mspira) on May 5, 2014 at 5:26am PDT
2. Winning the Champions League
Spiranovic was a force to be reckoned with in the Wanderers’ victorious Champions League Campaign, part of the backline combination that only conceded one goal at home during the tournament.
Spiranovic played in both legs of the Champions League Final, bringing onto the field a sense of calm and composure during Al-Hilal’s attacking onslaught.
The defender is permanently etched into Wanderers history due to his efforts that helped the club become the first Australian side to be crowned Asian Champions.
A photo posted by Matthew Spiranovic (@mspira) on Nov 2, 2014 at 1:21am PST
3. Becoming a regular Socceroo
One could argue that Spiranovic’s time wearing the Red & Black hoops helped rejuvenate his career giving him the exposure and form to become one of the first players on the Socceroos’ team sheet.
He was part of every single minute of the Socceroos 2014 World Cup Campaign, a side that made significant leaps and bounds in football and stood tall against Chile, Netherlands and Spain.
Great form saw him selected once more for the Socceroos Asian Cup campaign where he only missed one game due to suspension on his way to claiming an Asian double with club and country.
4. Adjudged the best centre back in the league
Spiranovic’s time in Red & Black finally got his name on the lips of football aficionados around the country. For years a fringe Socceroo, injury and game time while in Europe and Asia kept him from reaching his potential.
But on signing with the Wanderers and completely his first season, not only did he become a household name but was adjudged by his peers as the best centre back in the league as he was selected in the PFA Team of the Year.
A photo posted by Matthew Spiranovic (@mspira) on Apr 2, 2014 at 11:07pm PDT
5. His Wanderers Debut
Spiranovic wore the Red & Black for the first time on Friday November 8 2013 in the Round 5 game against Melbourne Heart which the Wanderers won 1-0. He almost got himself a goal to with a header form a corner going ever so close to grabbing a debut game.
He went on to make 44 appearances for the Red & Black making significant growth both as a player and a person in the Hyundai A-League, AFC Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup.