Top 10 A-League Players of All Time

  1. Patrick Zwaanswijk

Patrick Zwaanswijk joined the Mariners back in July of 2010 from Eredivisie side NAC Breda. The Dutch veteran played 11 seasons in the Eredivisie racking up a total of 316 games and scoring 39 goals. After signing for the Mariners, he went on to score his first goal which was a late injury time winner against the North Queensland Fury. He later went on to use his experience to lead the Mariners to their first A-League title in 2013 scoring the first goal in their 2-0 win over the Western Sydney Wanderers. After his retirement in 2013 he has later gone on to coach the Mariners youth team and appear on Fox Sports.

  1. Eugene Galekovic

Eugene Galekovic started his career in the NSL playing for both Eastern Pride and South Melbourne, making 48 appearances between 2000 and 2004. After the closure of the NSL in 2004, Eugene later moved to Beira Mar in Portugal, but after making 2 appearances that year, he moved back to Australia and joined Melbourne Victory. At Victory, Eugene was considered the 2nd choice keeper and didn’t make his first start for the club until the 2006/07 season. On the 30th October 2008, Eugene moved to Melbourne Victory Rivals, Adelaide United where he went on to make a name for himself. He joined the Reds as an injury replacement for their current goalkeeper at the time and made his first appearance against Queensland Roar. Eugene went on to show how good he was by taking the 1st choice keeper shirt for Adelaide and has since made an impressive 84 Clean sheets in just over 250 games, while winning Goalkeeper of the Year, a record 4 times.

  1. Dwight Yorke

Dwight Yorke joined Sydney FC in the inaugural season of the A-League. After being released by Birmingham City, he went on to score in his debut, scoring a dividing heading against Melbourne Victory. Yorke later went on to score 7 goals in his first and only season for the club. Sydney coach Pierre Littbarski moved Yorke into the midfield and gave him the clubs captaincy. Yorke played a huge part in Sydney’s first season, helping reach the Grand Final and assisting the winner scored by team-mate Steve Corrica. After the final, he was awarded the Joe Marston Medal as man of the match and would then play one final game for the Sky Blues, in a pre-season game against Everton. Yorke later went on to play for Sunderland, where he played for 3 season, helping them reach the Premier League and eventually retiring in 2009.

 

  1. Shane Smeltz

Shane Smeltz has played for a number of clubs. 15 to be exact, ranging from Australia to England and even Turkey at one point. Smeltz was born in Germany to German parents with New Zealand citizenships. At six months, Smeltz moved to New Zealand and eventually moved to the Gold Coast at the age of six. After playing for a few clubs in Queensland and then moving to Adelaide United, Smeltz began playing in England for Mansfield Town, AFC Wimbledon and Halifax town, scoring 21 goals in 78 appearances for the three clubs. In 2007, he moved back to New Zealand playing for Wellington Phoenix after signing a two year deal with the club. In his first season, he finished second in the golden boot race with 9 goals in 19 appearances, but in his second season with the club, he scored 12 goals winning him the A-League Golden Boot. He also won goal of the season for his strike against Melbourne Victory and was awarded the Johnny Warren Medal as player of the season. Smeltz has since gone on the play for Gold Coast United, Perth Glory, Sydney FC and returning to Wellington Phoenix scoring 70 goals in 148 appearances.

  1. Aaron Mooy

Aaron Mooy started his playing career in England as a youth scholar for Bolton Wanderers. After making no appearances for the English side’s senior team, Mooy rejected a contract extension with the club in the search for my first-team football. On the 23rd October 2010 Mooy joined Scottish side St Mirren and made his debut on that same day in a 3-0 loss to Hearts, but went on to score his first goal for the club in a 6-1 thrashing against Peterhead. After making 18 appearances in his first season for the club he was offered a two-year deal and in the following year suffered a back injury which left him out for months. On the 17 December 2011, Mooy returned from his injury coming on as a substitute in a 1-1 draw against Motherwell. After leaving St Mirren on a free transfer he went on to join Western Sydney Wanderers in their inaugural season in the A-League. After making 49 appearances for the Sydney side, he moved to Melbourne City where Mooy really excelled. After scoring 18 goals in 53 appearances, he helped the Melbourne side reach 4th in the A-League and reaching the semi-finals of the A-League Play-Offs, after being knocked out by the eventual winners, Adelaide United 4-1. After the 2016-17 season, Mooy joined sister club Manchester City on a three-year deal and was then loaned out to Championship club Huddersfield town. At the West Yorkshire club Mooy has made 36 appearances, scoring 3 goals and was also included in the EFL Championship Team of the Season.

  1. Alessandro Del Piero

Alessandro Del Piero began his career at the Padova youth team in 1988 after being spotted by scouts playing for San Vendemiano. He joined the senior team at aged 16 in the 91/92 season and made his debut at the age 17 against Messina in Seire B. In the following season Del Piero went on to score his first professional goal in a 5-0 win over Ternana and moved to Juventus the following year. Del Piero moved to Juventus in 1993 and stayed with the Torinese club for 12 seasons, until being released in 2012. Alessandro Del Peiro went on to score 208 goals in 513 appearances for the Old Lady, winning 6 Serie A titles, 1 Serie B title, 1 Coppa Italia, 4 Suppercoppa Italia’s, 1 UEFA Champions League, 1 UEFA Super Cup, 1 UEFA Intertoto Cup and 1 Intercontinental Cup. Del Piero was also a vital part of Italy’s success throughout his years, guiding them to their fourth FIFA World Cup Trophy in 2006 and to the final of the UEFA European Championship’s in 2000. In his 97 appearances for the national team, Del Peiro Scored 27 goals and played his final game for Italy in 2008. On 5th September 2012, he signed for Sydney FC on a 2 year deal earning him $3.5 million, making for highest paid player in Australian football. Del Piero made his debut for the Sky Blues on the 6th October against Wellington Phoenix  in a 2-0 away loss, but went on to score his 1st Sydney FC goal against the Newcastle Jets in a 3-2 loss. Alessandro went on to score 14 goals in his first season in the A-League and scored 10 in his next season before leaving for Delhi Dynamos in the Indian Super League.

  1. Bruno Fornaroli

Fornaroli started his career through the youth ranks at Club Nacional de Football in Uruguay. He made his senior team debut in July 2006 against Rentistas in 3-0 loss away from home. Fornaroli stayed at the club till July of 2008, where he moved to Serie A side Sampdoria and made his Serie A debut in a 2-0 defeat to Lazio after coming on as a 75th minute substitute. He later went on to score his first goal for the club in the first leg against FBK Kaunas in the UEFA Cup and scored in the second leg as well. After that he made 5 more Serie A appearances scoring no goals. In February of 2009 Fornaroli was loaned out to Argentinian side San Lorenzo de Almagro, where he scored twice in his 15 appearances for the club. The following season he was loaned out again but this time it was to Recreativo Huelva in the second division of Spain, making 17 appearances while only scoring two goals. He returned to Sampdoria the next season but after only playing three minutes in the first half of the 2010/11 season, he moved back the Club Nacional on loan, scoring four times in his half a season with the club. Fornaroli moved back to Sampdoria after they were relegated but after making 11 appearances without scoring he then moved to Greek giants Panathinaikos. Fornaroli made 27 appearances for the club but without scoring in those games his contract was terminated and moved back to Uruguay where he would play for Danubio. After a year and a half with the Uruguayan club Fornaroli moved to Melbourne City where goals would come thick and fast for him.  Goals were no shortage for Fornaroli in the A-League scoring 25 goals in 29 appearances in his first season and currently has 17 goals this season. Along with his goals the Uruguayan helped the Melbourne side win the FFA cup against Premier Plate winners Sydney FC, and won Melbourne Player of the Year in his first year, the A-League Golden Boot, the Mark Viduka Medal for his performance in the FFA Cup final and was also a part of the A-League Team of the Season. I think we can all say Melbourne City have really help Fornaroli get his career back of track.

  1. Besart Berisha

Besart Berisha started his career at German Bundesliga club Hamburg SV after being scouted from Tennis Borussia Berlin. Berisha signed for Hamburg in 2004 but then had an unsuccessful loan spell at Aalborg Boldspilklub where he only made 3 appearances, scoring no goals. The following season Besart was then loaned out to AC Horsens where he had a more enjoyable time, scoring 11 goals in 32 appearances, making him the team’s top scorer. In the 2006/07 season, Berisha remained at Hamburg, making his debut against Arminia Bielefeld. He then went on to score his first goal for the club against CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Champions League, making him the first Albanian player to score in the competition. 10 days later on the 16 December he scored his first Bundesliga goal against Alemannia Aachen in a 3-3 draw. After the sacking of Thomas Doll and the arrival of Huub Stevens, Berisha wasn’t seen as part of the team and was benched for the rest of the season. Berisha would then move to Burnley, where he made no appearances but was loaned out to Rosenberg and Horsens, but would then make the permeant move to Arminia Bielefeld where he scored twice in his 28 appearances for the club. After an unsuccessful season with Arminia Bielefeld, Berisha moved to Brisbane Roar and went on to score 21 goals in his first season. He followed that up by scoring 14 and 13 goals in his 2nd and 3rd year with the Brisbane Club and helped them to the Premiers Plate in 2014 along with the A-League title in 2012 and 2014. Berisha then moved to A-League rivals Melbourne Victory in 2014 and went on to score 15 goals in his first season, helping the Melbourne side to the A-League Premiers Plate, A-League title and the FFA cup in 2015.

  1. Thomas Broich

Thomas Broich began his career playing for several Bavarian youth teams before making the move to SV Wacker Burghausen of the Regionalliga Sud, Germany’s third division. While at Waker Burghausen he helped them to promotion and scored 8 goals in his 78 appearances. In January 2004 Broich moved to Borussia Monchengladbach, and played with the likes on Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski. He made 68 appearances for Monchengladbach before making the move to the Bundesliga 2 side 1. FC Koln. Broich had an up and down season with Koln, scoring the deciding goal in a 4-2 win over Schalke who were 1st at the time, but also clashed with coach Christoph Daum. Koln gained promotion that year but it didn’t mend the relationship between coach and player. Broich then began looking overseas for a new journey and almost joined Adelaide United, but former Monchengladbach assistant manager Michael Oenning, and 1. FC Nurnberg manager at the time, convinced him to stay in Germany and joined 1. FC Nurnberg. After a disappointing season, he gave up German football and joined Brisbane Roar in 2010. Broich has gone on to make over 160 appearances for the Roar scoring 16 goals in that time. Along with his goals he has helped the Queensland club to 2 Premiers Plates and 3 A-League Titles, while also winning the Johnny Warren medal twice for player of the season, the Joe Marston Medal for best player in a grand final and A-League foreign player of the year in 2012. Along with these accolades he has also been a part of the A-League Team of the Season 3 times, played twice for the A-League All-Stars against Manchester United and Juventus and was part of the A-League PFA Team of the Decade.

  1. Archie Thompson

Archie Thompson began his career at Bathurst’s youth team before breaking into the senior team in 1995. At the end of the 1996 season he secured a move to National Soccer League team Gippsland Falcons where he would stay for a year and a half before once again moving to Carlton. He would then spend the 2000/01 season with Marconi after leaving Carlton, and then finalise a move to Belgium side Lierse SK the following year. After scoring 9 goals in his first season, injury slowed his progress with the club. He would eventually be back on the pitch and scoring goals, being the clubs leading scorer, with 14 goals in 29 appearances. Archie made 90 appearances with the Belgium side, scoring 28 goals before making the move back to Australia to join Melbourne Victory in their inaugural season in the competition. Thompson spent 11 years with the Melbourne club making 224 appearances and scoring 90 goals. In his time with the Victory, Archie won the A-League Premiers Plate and Title 3 times, in 2007, 2009 and 2015, scoring 5 in the grand final in 2007 against Adelaide United. Along with these trophies Archie has won the A-League Golden Boot in 2006, the Joe Marston Medal in 2007 and the Victory Medal in 2008 and 2010, while also being a part of the Team of the Season 4 times and was part of the PFA Team of the Decade. Archie also holds the record for most goals in an international game: 13, most goals in an A-League game: 5 and most appearances and most goals for Melbourne Victory. Archie now plays for NPL 2 side Murray United.

 

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