Marcelo Carrusca upset at ACL axing
PLAYMAKER Marcelo Carrusca is heartbroken by Adelaide United coach Guillermo Amor's decision to axe him from the AFC Champions League squad - and is willing to consider contract offers from other A-League teams.
Carrusca's wealth of international club football experience has seen him play in the UEFA Champions League, CONCACEF Champions League and Copa Libertadores but playing in Asia is out of immediate reach.
Adelaide's vice-captain played an enormous part in securing direct AFC Champions League qualification after an outstanding 2015/16 season, during which the Reds claimed the A-League double, and said he was gobsmacked by his omission.
"I have been thinking about this and playing Champions League for two years," Carrusca said.
"When we qualified for the Champions League I was very excited with the boys and after I decided to have an operation on my foot earlier in the season.
"I wanted to be fit for the Champions League and I dedicated a lot to be ready for the Champions League.
"It's really big for the club and also at the last moments Iacopo La Rocca was unluckily injured and we where just three foreigners in training and I was convinced I would be in the squad.
"It took me by surprise; it was a big shock he (Amor) decided to take another player (Baba Diawara), who was still in Portugal."
Carrusca says he will now give the A-League season all he has, with an eye also on his future.
Adelaide's No. 1 playmaker is open for precontract talks.
Carrusca is off contract in June and is expected to earn Australian residential status in the next few months, meaning he will no longer be regarded as an import for the A-League.
This option has had A-League clubs - other than Adelaide - keen to talk to Carrusca's Argentina-based agent.
"First I want to know the ambition of the club (Adelaide United) and the plans they have for next season," Carrusca said.
"They haven't spoken with me yet and I need to start listening to other offers.
"I need to think of my family and if it's not here, it has to be another club or another country.
"I don't want to leave. It depends on them (Adelaide) but even my manager is working because you never know what is happening in the next couple of months.
"We need to decide and we need to be ready, I need to have another option.
"I need to think about my future but I hopefully I can stay here - I love this club, the city and the fans.'
Carrusca, 33, will this week train with Adelaide's NPL team from 7.30am while waiting for teammates to return from China, where Adelaide faces Jiangsu Sainty in Nanjing on Wednesday.
He hopes to fly to Sydney on Friday to join his teammates before facing Western Sydney in Sydney on Saturday night.
Carrusca and striker Marc Marino returned to Adelaide on Sunday after United's 2-1 loss to Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park the night before.
"It was sad to say goodbye (to his Reds teammates) at the airport," he said.
"I have to try to play and focus on the A-League, I can't think in the past.
"All I can do is wish the boys all the best for the Champions League."