The midfielder came from footballing stock: his Dad played professionally for Scottish side Stirling Albion and passed on the love of football to his son.


Watson in full flight with the Reds of Adelaide

For Cameron, that love of football found expression in Liverpool. Their history, passion, and Reds fans had him hooked early. 

But once he signed with Porto, he was a blue and ready to die for the azuis e blancos. 

“I always had that dream.

“Getting up with my Dad to watch European football in the middle of the night in Australia.

“It was all I had in my mind was to go and play in Europe.

“And when it happened for me, it happened very quickly, it was quite surreal.

“Within a week of getting a phone call, I was training with one of the biggest clubs in Europe.

“And once I got there, I wanted to stay. Nothing was going to stop me.

“I was a small fish in a big pond coming from Australia being surrounded by the players they had.

“But after three or four days, they signed me. I rang Dad immediately. I woke him up! 

“Dad was more ecstatic than me.

“It was the start of an adventure.”

He was now part of Porto’s official U-19 squad and training with the reserve team, who had first-team stars occasionally train with them.

“Diego, the Brazilian, really was a standout.

“I trained with him on two occasions, he was frightening running around on the same pitch as me!

Diego, a Brazilian international, later played for Atletico Madrid and Juventus.

“At the time they had Quaresma, Bosingwa, Pepe, the first team were doing well.

“Mourinho had left the club by the time I was there. He was a God with the fans and the club after what he’d achieved there.

“And they were still riding on a high from winning the UEFA Champions League.

“I’d come from the AIS which was full-time. But this was so, so much more competitive.

“Training with the reserves, sometimes first team players would train with us.

“You excel as a footballer purely through the intensity of training. As a foreigner, you’re expected to perform week in week out.

“It showed how difficult the level was to make it.

“There is so much at stake for players in Europe. It’s their livelihood.

“And you grow as a person being overseas for the first time on my own.

“You only realise later how lucky you are to be surrounded by the players Porto had.

“But you do take it one week at a time because things can change so quickly.”

Watson for the Jets against Wanderers

So true.

Despite his obvious talent - a talent Porto recognized immediately - a stellar career in Europe and perhaps the Socceroos never materialized.