At his unveiling as a Melbourne Victory player, Besart Berisha says he is keen to add to his two A-League titles won at Brisbane Roar.
He might have left the A-League champions, defeating his new club on the way, but Besart Berisha insists his move to Melbourne Victory is about joining the best.
It was 10 weeks ago that a sole Berisha strike proved decisive in Brisbane Roar’s 1-0 win over the Victory in the A-League semi-finals.
But at the joining of the two on Tuesday, coach Kevin Muscat said it was water under the bridge and Berisha said he was just doing a job.
At AAMI Park, Victory are letting bygones be bygones.
After all, they have secured the A-League’s most-prominent striker of recent seasons.
The unveiling of Berisha on Thursday at the top of Eureka Tower felt like a neat metaphor for the club’s ambitions, with Berisha in no doubt of the club’s place in the pecking order.
“It’s a privilege and honour to be at this big club as marquee,” he said.
“It’s the biggest club in Australia … very professional. Their ambition is always to be the best.”
Clad in the club’s navy blue for the first time, Berisha said it already felt like a family.
“The last two years I have won trophies and it’s left me very hungry. I want to win more,” he said.
“They’re a fantastic team, fantastic boys … I really feel like home.”
Berisha will wear No.8, leaving Kosta Barbarouses with the centre-forward’s traditional No.9.
But there is no doubt the Albanian will be top dog in Muscat’s forward line, which will be tweaked for his arrival.
“The philosophy of how we want to go about things won’t change but there will be slight structural changes that we’ll be working on,” he said.
“The obvious thing (Berisha brings) is goals but there’s a lot more to Bes.
“We need to get better in all areas and bringing Bes to the football club is one of those areas that we will improve.”
Muscat said despite the marquee status – and reported price tag of $1.5 million over two seasons – Berisha would need to prove his place.
“Nobody is rolling out the red carpet,” Muscat said.
“Berisha will earn the respect of his peers, his teammates, colleagues and fans alike.”
After signing Berisha and Socceroo Carl Valeri, Muscat’s off-season shopping is nearly complete, with only two or three more coming in.
“In the near future, hopefully, we’ll have one or two more announcements … we’re narrowing in on a couple.”
Muscat opted not to discuss whether Socceroo and Victory captain Mark Milligan would sign an improved deal to become the club’s Australian marquee, saying they would talk on his return.