Tim Cahill’s arrival marks potentially the biggest name to play in the A-League. At least, that’s the case for followers of the Socceroos.
However, since Cahill’s official unveiling, it has surfaced that Melbourne Victory wanted the FFA to allow them to sign Alessandro Diamanti as an FFA-sanctioned guest player, the same contract type as Cahill.
The FFA, rightfully, declined.
Diamante is an excellent player, and would add tremendous value to any team. But that is the issue, he would solely benefit the club who signed him, not the wider A-League.
Diamanti is probably equal on ability with Cahill, but the latter is our nation’s all-time top goal scorer, scored our first World Cup goal, and has scored in three World Cups. He is, quite possibly, the greatest Socceroo of all time.
Nearly every Australian knows of Cahill and his corner-flag punching ways.
Who is Diamanti? A journeyman who is only known to some Australians for his exploits with Evergrande in China.
Victory’s attempt to get Diamanti was a win-win: either they acquire a great player, or get rejected and are portrayed as the victims. The latter has obviously occurred, perhaps showing City as being favoured by the FFA.
Cahill’s signing has been slightly tarnished, as has the stature of the guest player.
Hopefully other clubs bring in big names, the error in Victory’s approach can be shown, and we can see what the guest spot is really all about.