From Adelaide to Germany: Borrello’s constant reminder of his Caltex Socceroos goal
From watching TV as a kid to lacing up his boots on the other side of the world - Brandon Borrello has always been aware of his Caltex Socceroos destiny.
Freiburg SC attacker Borrello made his Caltex Socceroos bow in the June friendly against Korea Republic in Busan, something the 24-year-old has always dreamed of.
Next on his bucket list is the chance to pull on the famous green and gold on the grandest stage of them all: at a FIFA World Cup.
It’s a fate which has never been far from the front of the South Australian’s mind, whether in his childhood home or 15,000 miles away on the other side of the world.
“Growing up [the FIFA World Cup] has been a big part of my family,” explained Borrello.
“Since I was born, we watched every Socceroos game in the World Cup.
“All of the big players that played previously for the Socceroos were a big inspiration.
“It was funny how, when I first moved to Kaiserslauten, throughout the city, they have got statues of the teams that played in Kaiserslauten.
“There’s a big Australian mannequin from that famous game against Italy in the 2006 World Cup. Playing in that stadium was kind of cool.”
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Thankfully, the heartbreak suffered on that fateful night against the eventual FIFA World Cup 2006 winners is not the only Caltex Socceroos memory for the town Borrello departed Brisbane Roar in the Hyundai A-League for.
The 24-year-old has fond memories of Australia’s tournament opener against Japan in the Fritz-Walter-Station, where a heroic late rally gave the Caltex Socceroos the perfect start in Germany.
“I was at home watching the game,” Borrello reminisces.
“Watching my previous coach John Aloisi score and Tim Cahill bang in a couple of goals too.
“What a great game that was. I was young at the time so I was with mum and dad on the coach watching the game.”
It’s memories like those which make Borrello’s involvement in Graham Arnold’s squad all the more special as the Caltex Socceroos embark on their journey towards Qatar 2022.
When he made his Caltex Socceroos debut in the 1-0 defeat in Busan in June, he was yet to break through into the first-team setup at Freiburg.
Borrello comes back into the fold in Dubai with a new found confidence, having made his Bundesliga debut in August.
A superb start to the 2019/20 season will have given Borrello’s hopes to be involved against Kuwait in Australia’s Group B opener on Wednesday, 11 September AEST a boost.
“[My debut] was long awaited, with the injury and what not,” he said, referring to the ruptured ACL he suffered in April 2018.
“I felt like I really deserved it and I took it with both hands, my chance.
“I’ve felt really comfortable in the first few games that I’ve played so hopefully there’s a lot more games to come.
“I think playing in the Bundesliga as opposed to second Bundesliga or A-League, every league has different characteristics and I find the Bundesliga suits me to a tee.”
It may only be the beginning of the road to Qatar but there is no chance Borrello will lose sight of his purpose.
“All through the junior level with national teams, I was a little bit unlucky not to qualify for the Olympics and the World Cup,” he said.
“To be a part of it on this stage is something very special for me.”