One on One with: Marcelo Carrusca
Having already represented Argentina on the international stage at under 20 level, Marcelo Carrusca became a fan favourite at Adelaide United. The talented attacking midfielder would then go on to win a FFA Cup and a premiership with the Reds. Having recently announced his retirement from football, he went One on One with Jack Hudson.
JH: What was life like growing up in Argentina?
MC: It was great, I had two brothers (one younger and one older), we used to play football all the time at home.
We used to train at one club, I was there since I was four-years-old till I was 11, and then I moved to Estudiantes de La Plata and I was there from 11 till 22, and I became a professional footballer at 18.
When I was 22, I left, and I went to Galatasaray.
Growing up was good, I have all my family there, I enjoyed all my football and family there.
JH: You played in the Argentina under 20 side – how special was that to you?
MC: To represent your country is one of the big things you can have in your career.
It is a privilege to represent the country, to be champions qualifying for the World Cup.
It’s amazing, I was very lucky, I was playing in the first division already, I had the chance to represent Argentina, and it’s something I’ll never forget.
JH: You played alongside some special players in that time – who do you remember the most?
MC: There were a couple of good players in the side, like (Carlos) Tevez, Javier (Mascherano), Pablo (Zabaleta).
They had very good careers in Argentina and in Europe.
I was very lucky to be a part of this amazing team.
JH: How did the move to Turkey come about?
MC: When I was with Estudiantes playing I had two offers: one from Italy and the other from Galatasaray.
After four years of playing in the Argentine First Division I was looking to go and play overseas, my dream was to always play in Europe, and I did it.
I picked Galatasaray because at the time it was playing in the (UEFA) Champions League, they were the biggest club in Turkey.
When I went there, it was different, tough, because I was young being away from my family for the first time was difficult, but I enjoyed it.
I enjoyed the football and playing in the competitions like the Champions League.
It was one of the highlights of my career, I’ll remember it forever, I remember the feeling of playing against big teams, the (Champions League) song, the bigger stadiums were amazing.
After because I didn’t play a lot in the second year I decided to move to Mexico.
JH: You played in Mexico and then back to Argentina before moving to Australia – was it hard not having a set spot throughout those years?
MC: I had a big injury with my collarbone, and I couldn’t recover from that, so I came back to Estudiantes.
We played in the Club World Cup, and it was amazing.
After three different clubs, Estudiantes, Banfield and San Martin de San Juan, this opportunity came up to come to Australia.
My wife and I decided to come here and see what it was like for a year or two, and after we fell in love with the country and the city, we decided to stay here forever.
JH: Did Adelaide United approach you?
MC: I received an offer through my agent from Adelaide, and at the time it was (John) Kosmina as manager.
They wanted me here, I came and enjoyed the football here.
I played every game and I was feeling brilliant and that’s why I decided to stay longer, it’s why I’m still here.
With Argentina, the lifestyle is very different, that’s why we decided to stay here, we have kids and the opportunity to live in a first world country.
JH: What do you remember about the FFA Cup win in 2014?
MC: It was amazing.
The FFA Cup is always difficult when you play against tough teams.
We played against all A-League teams, we didn’t play against NPL or lower levels clubs.
It was very difficult and tough, but we had an amazing team, a great culture, it was amazing.
The final at home, the atmosphere, the fans were amazing.
JH: You wont he premiership in 2016, what do you remember about the whole year?
MC: It was difficult in the first nine years, we couldn’t win, we weren’t playing well, and we couldn’t find a solution.
We started to change and win games, and everyone was very focused and knew what to do.
We sacrificed a lot of things; we were a very good team on and off the pitch.
We played together for years before, so we knew what anyone could do.
We won the league because of that, we were training together, many of the players had been together for about three years.
We had amazing players, as a group we were very strong.
JH: You later made the move to Melbourne City – was it hard to play for another A-League club?
MC: Yes, of course.
When Adelaide showed me the doors it was difficult, I didn’t expect that.
I moved to Melbourne, I didn’t play there, that’s why I decided to go to Western Sydney, and I played every game since I had arrived in January all the way through to June.
I didn’t have any offer, so then we decided to come back to Adelaide.
We started focusing in the academy and my future after football, that was the main thing.
Joined the biggest club in the NPL here and enjoy my last year.
JH: How is your academy going?
MC: It’s going very well, we’re now doing training in the Kilburn Sports Complex, on the artificial pitch where the kids can train properly.
We have trainings there, we do some on Saturdays, it’s going very well.
We’re also working in a school, we’re going to do holiday stuff, we’re doing well and I’m so happy to give back to the community after 16 or 17 years in professional football.
I have a lot of knowledge I want to share with the younger players and helping in different ways.
JH: How have you enjoyed your time at West Adelaide?
MC: It’s going well, we didn’t start well, and a couple of players left after a couple of weeks.
We’re starting to play better, we’ve won the last two, I think we’re going the right way.