As he prepares for Saturday’s Westfield FFA Cup final with favourites Melbourne Victory, Besart Berisha’s unrelenting desire for trophies means this week feels similar to Hyundai A-League Grand Final week.
The striker and talisman has won three Hyundai A-League grand finals (two with Brisbane Roar; one with Victory earlier this year).
Now, in the first Cup final of his career, Berisha desperately wants another trophy to add to his and Victory's cabinet when the Big V meet Glory at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
“We know this is an opportunity for every football player. This is a special moment and we know that,” he told reporters on Thursday.
While there won’t be extended celebrations for Victory should they hoist the trophy aloft – their next A-League game comes seven days later at Allianz against league leaders Sydney FC – the allure of a Cup winner’s medal is burning bright for Berisha.
“FFA Cup is a special trophy and everybody wants this. If you can achieve this trophy, it’s a special moment to win – we have to play straight away again … but everybody is excited and really wants to win it because it’s a great achievement if you can win it
“I love these games, they are very special to me. I’m going to try my best. Of course we respect Perth and we need to be 100% against them.”
Victory trained in heavy rain on Thursday morning at Goschs Paddock, working mainly on playing through the lines and hurting teams from wide positions by getting balls into the box for the likes of Berisha and Gui Finkler.
Glory meanwhile had a media opportunity in the centre of Perth today with the FFA Cup trophy on display for their fans.
“It doesn’t matter where you play. It’s all about great attitude and who’s the better team will win… it doesn’t matter if you play in Melbourne or Perth,” added the Albanian international when asked about the merits of hosting the Cup final in Victoria and not WA.
The physical battle between Berisha and Glory’s defensive bulwarks Dino Djulbic and Michael Thwaite promises much for those who like their football physical.
“I think we too are a physical team,” added Berisha. “It’s going to be a difficult challenge for me [against Djulbic and Thwaite] but one I’m looking forward to.”