City’s ‘Prickly Pear’ ready to blossom in A-League


New Melbourne City striker Bruno Fornaroli says working hard and scoring goals will be the only way to win over the club’s supporters and prove himself in the Hyundai A-League.

The 27-year-old, brought in by John van ‘t Schip’s ambitious A-League outfit on a two-year deal, has a considerably lower profile than two of City’s recent centre-forward recruits.

World Cup, La Liga and Champions League winner David Villa arrived on a guest stint to considerable fanfare last year but managed just four games in the A-League before leaving to link up with New York City FC.

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Socceroos striker Josh Kennedy was then brought in as Australian marquee mid-season only to retire at the end of the last A-League campaign.

A former Nacional, Sampdoria, Panathinaikos and Danubio player, Fornaroli won’t be instantly recognisable to the City faithful.

Bruno Fornaroli during a City training session.

Nevertheless, should he stay fit and hit the back of the net with any kind of regularity, the low-profile newcomer could yet outshine both Villa and Kennedy’s efforts in a white and sky blue shirt.

“Fans can expect lots of sacrifice for the shirt, that’s the first thing I put in my head when I arrive at a club; to give it my best,” he told the club’s website. 

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“I believe that with the ideas of the coaching staff, who like a pressing style, I will do this to the best of my ability, but it is difficult when a striker isn’t scoring, so my intention is to score goals.”

Fornaroli had the opportunity to train with Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad – coached by retired Arsenal and France great Patrick Vieira – before his arrival in Australia, one of the advantages of the A-League team’s status as a member of the global City Football Group.

“I was very grateful for training under a coach like Patrick Vieira, who is a very big name in football,” he said.

“The facilities in Manchester were amazing and I would like to thank the City Football Group for giving me the opportunity to train at the facility and prepare me for Melbourne.”

As for his arrival in Australia and first session with his new A-League team-mates, the forward said: “I felt very comfortable, but it is a long time before the start of the season so I will take my time to make sure I am fit.

“The club has made me feel very welcome, the whole staff and the playing group have received me well and made me feel comfortable. 

“The facilities are very good, it’s going to help the team lift for the season.”

On a lighter note, Fornaroli also cleared up any confusion about his unusual nickname.

“The name ‘El Tuna’ or ‘Prickly Pear’ came from my hairstyle, because when it is very short, it looks like a cactus.”

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