But he won't regret it if he does, according to Glory chairman Tony Sage, unable hide his delight at Uruguay-born Fornaroli’s shock call-up in Arnold’s hour of need.


  • Newcomers Bruno Fornaroli and Nick D'Agostino are being lined up as Australia's potential World Cup saviours.
  • Coach Graham Arnold has rolled the dice to call in the duo amid injuries and unavailabilities among his first choice front-runners.
  • The uncapped pair once worked in tandem in the Perth Glory attack, and owner Tony Sage believes they could rescue Australia's World Cup hopes.

More Socceroos news can be found on FTBL. 

The duo were co-collaborators in the West for two seasons, with Fornaroli, 34, playing master to 24-year-old D’Agostino’s apprentice as a close friendship was forged along the way.

Though Jamie Maclaren’s marriage to partner Iva rules him out of Australia’s final Group B clash in Saudi Arabia, Arnold is still expected to pick the Melbourne City predator for the visit of the Samurai Blue to Sydney's Stadium Australia.

However, Sage is convinced the Daggers-Fornaroli tag team can deliver on the international stage.

“I don’t know what’s in Graham Arnold’s mind but given their history together in Perth, I think it would a good thing to see Bruno and Daggers playing together for the national team,” Sage told FTBL.

“In my view, Fornaroli is the best striker in Australia, even if his goal stats this season (seven in 14 A-League Men games) don’t necessarily reflect that.

“That’s more a reflection, however, of how Glory (bottom of the ladder) are playing, rather than how Bruno is playing.

“I think he’s the best at his craft in the country and you put him together with Daggers and there’s that understanding already there between them.

“They get on extremely well and know each other’s games extremely well, so there’s a certain logic to it if the coach decides to go that way.

“But Jamie Maclaren (another Glory alumni) is the league’s top scorer (with 12) and he must be hopeful of keeping his place.

“All I know is that Daggers and Bruno have gelled for us before and I remember sitting next to Arnie at a game when Fornaroli set Daggers up for a goal in a match where he scored twice.”

Fornaroli, who has benefited from a recent FIFA eligibility rule change, only received his Australian citizenship three days ago in a case of perfect timing for Arnold with his first choice number nine Adam Taggart recovering from knee surgery and potential stand-in Nikita Rukavytsya unavailable after receiving only one COVID-19 vaccine.

“It’s fantastic for a guy who came to Australia in 2015 with a history of playing for Uruguay at U-17 level, and who now because of the 2020 rule change can play for a country he’s come to love,” added Sage.

“He’s still got so much left in him at 34 and is just the player to hold up the ball for Australia. He’s spent 28 days in quarantine this season (because of Western Australia border regulations) and has had a stop-start time.

“But he’s still managed to stay fit and firing, and Graham Arnold recognises that. I hope he gets a game for Australia because his ability to lay the ball off, keep possession and produce some trickery could be something we’d really benefit from.

“It’s something we’ve been missing of late. We’re very proud of Bruno as a club and this is a huge feather in his cap. 

“I’m sure Graham picked him for a reason, even if the call up caught everyone off guard.

“He’s rarely been injured in two years with Glory and keeps himself in great condition.

“I presume he’d have been picked a lot earlier but just wasn’t eligible until this week.”


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