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From being disrespected to becoming an A-league icon: Alessandro Diamanti bids farewell

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30th April, 2023

Regarding marquee and import signings, caution and scouting are necessary to make the right decision for salary cap and financial reasons. 

On Saturday night, Western United and Italian forward Alessandro Diamanti stepped onto a football pitch for the final time of his career in a 2-1 victory over Perth Glory, announcing his retirement a few days prior.

The 40-year-old has been there every step of the way with the club since its inaugural season in 2019, experiencing all of the highs and lows. 

Without a shadow of a doubt, he’s up there to be considered among the best imports to grace our shores, in the conversation with the likes of Alessandro Del Piero and Besart Berisha. 

What has become an incredible journey could’ve easily not occurred at all. 

Before the 2016/17 campaign commenced, Melbourne Victory was the first to recognise Diamanti’s talent but was denied to activate the ‘guest rule’ signing by the back-then FFA.

Diamanti has never been known for long stints, having experience playing in England for West Ham United and Watford as well as in his home country for clubs such as Fiorentina, Palermo, and Bologna on top of many other teams.

Alessandro Diamanti of Western United FC looks on

Alessandro Diamanti of Western United (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)


At the time, he played for Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande on loan from Serie A club Atalanta, where he scored two goals against Victory in the Asian Champions League. 

However, that wasn’t enough to convince the FFA that he was worth the money as they felt as though he didn’t meet their profile demands.

In an interview with Fox Football a couple of years after Victory’s approach, Diamanti confirmed that he was open to the idea of moving down under. 

“I had a conversation with Alessandro Del Piero who was here in Sydney and he said ‘If you want to come, I want to try and bring you here.’

I said ‘Ok, I’m open to this’…but in the end, the A-League said no. I read that they had to Google me and said I was not strong like they wanted.

At the time, I think it was between me and [Tim] Cahill. They told me ‘You don’t have enough followers on Twitter’. I said ‘I don’t do Twitter, I play football!’,” Diamanti said.

Those passages of the interview sum up his character perfectly. The type of character who makes fans smile with an incredible sense of humour and has a positive outlook on life. 


You just have to look at his activity on social media enjoying every second of Melbourne and Australia all while letting the public in on his lifestyle. It’s what makes everyone love and adore him. 

Diamanti wasn’t brought in to take part in the Melbourne comedy festival, though. As he said, he plays football, and he’s sure delivered on the field. 

Whether it be his half-way goal against Sydney, his sublime free-kick against the Phoenix to win the game at the death or his two incredible goals against the Wanderers which both chipped the goalkeeper, the Italian has certainly produced memories to cherish. 

With the ball at his feet, something magical would happen. It was the sort of skill and artistry which had the ability to lift fans off their seats and have them stand up applauding in awe and admiration.

Finally, his skill and personality deservedly became recognised and appreciated, something the ‘experts’ at the helm of Australia’s head of football failed to do.

Despite playing 10 of the first 12 games before being sidelined for the remainder of the season due to injury, he was still able to contribute to help Western United claim their first-ever championship in the club’s third year of existence. 

The leadership demonstrated both on and off the pitch shouldn’t be underestimated.


11 goals and 18 assists in 82 A-League appearances might probably explain why the maestro isn’t talked about more often, but his value is worth much more than statistics put on a piece of paper. 

Unfortunately, injuries and an opportunity robbed of playing in Australia at 33 years of age will make people look back and ponder what might’ve been.

With all that said, Alessandro Diamanti will still be considered one of the best imports to ever represent the A-League. 

Hopefully, we’re all able to come to the realisation of just how lucky we were to be blessed with a gem of a talent. 

Diamanti farewells the game having helped grow Australian football for the better.

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