Tomorrow is a little-known anniversary: The remarkable, unexpected rise of a Sydney FC staffer to take on and demolish the world's best.
Do you remember Brendan Renaud? Maybe by his nickname Rex?
If you don't, it's hardly a surprise. In 2008, at 34-years-old, the former hardy NSL midfielder had all but retired. It's not that he was still playing at a high level, he just didn't think it was worth announcing his retirement. Who would care?
As Aidan Ormond tells it, Renaud was making-ends-meet working for Sydney FC's community development team, spending his weekends at the barrell-end of Australian football, trying to spark some interest in a growing competition among the grassroots.
The job had its perks. He'd been there in 2007 to see David Beckham's curling free kick in front of a packed house at ANZ Stadium. He also had a pretty good rapport with then-Sky Blues coach John Kosmina.
Kosmina was aware that Renaud was still working his socks off in the shadows to keep fit. So with the side nearing finals, and a highly technical midfield - including the likes of Juninho - needing a bit of grunt, Kossie knew the man he was after.
“My playing career had finished! I hadn’t officially retired," Renaud told www.a-league.com.au.
"I suppose I never really thought of myself as big enough that anyone would care if I retired or not. But now, I was pretty much a footballer again.
“In my wildest dreams, the most I thought I'd be would be on the bench and supporting the team as a squad player.
“But I told ‘Kossie’, ‘I’ll give you everything.'"
Flash forward and Renaud had earned a regular first-team place right up until the elimination final, which Sydney lost to Brisbane Roar. It was a phenomenal achievement for the 34-year-old, but his fairytale ending wasn't finished there.
Sydney had a post-season tournament arranged in Hawaii, against David Beckham's L.A Galaxy, Houston Dynamo and J-League side Gamba Osaka. Of course, Renaud was the first on the plane.
“I was so grateful to Kossie. If he hadn’t done this, we wouldn’t be talking about this story ten years on," Renaud said.
“I’m so indebted to him and then CEO George Perry. It was a massive risk putting me in there. I could’ve easily broken down and not been up to it physically.
“Still to this day, I can’t thank them enough.”