City captain Bruno Fornaroli has spectacularly become an Australian citizen, being eligible to play for the Socceroos as soon as June’s World Cup Qualifier against Saudi Arabia.
The Uruguayan-born striker was tipped off by Australian officials in February about irregularities to his Visa which showed Fornaroli had been in Australia since 2005.
This coincided with the striker’s travel to Sydney to watch his native side take on the Socceroos in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualification playoff between the Aussies and Uruguay.
Upon leaving Sydney after his side’s failure to qualify for Germany 2006, Fornaroli’s exit papers were stamped incorrectly, meaning he hadn’t legally exited the country despite flying back to Montevideo.
The rare mistake has worked to Australia’s favour with the star striker’s impressive record in the domestic competition seeing him score 40 goals in 52 matches over two seasons.
Fornaroli said he was excited to become an Australian first and foremost, saying everyone in the country has welcomed him with open arms.
“When someone called the Club and said this, I could not believe my ears,” Fornaroli said.
“It is one of those opportunities that when it comes up in front of you, you have to take it. My family and I love this country. The way of life is beautiful and now that I can become an Australian, it is even better.
“I have spoken to the national team and they have said that if I can keep doing what I am doing in the league, there is every chance for me to be a part of the side but there are no guarantees.
“This news is not going to affect me and the way I play. I will continue to work hard for me and my team. Anything that happens after that is a bonus but I’m a very proud Uruguayan Aussie!”
Fornaroli’s new status will mean he will not be considered a visa player in the Club’s quota next season.
City and Fornaroli will be back at AAMI Park on Friday as they take on Adelaide United, kick-off 7.50pm. Secure your place at the match today!