Cirio the man at Coopers Stadium

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When Adelaide United boss Josep Gombau was coaching Kichee in the Hong Kong Premier League, there was one player he always wanted to bring over from Europe; one small, nimble winger who has pace to burn and provides energy to a whole squad, but Gombau could never make it happen.

That is until the tiki-taka tactician came to Adelaide and within two months, his transfer target had put ink on the dotted line.

Sergio Cirio. Image provided by Adelaide United.

That man is Sergio Cirio, who has taken Coopers Stadium and the A-League by storm in his second season. The 29-year-old has become one of the most dangerous assassins in the competitions and is fast becoming the key to Adelaide’s early success in 2014.

Speaking exclusively to The Football Sack, the Spaniard says that his own good form, which includes eight goals in 10 league and cup games, is down to the positive mood and good form of the entire Adelaide camp.

“I think all the team is playing very well, defending well and attacking well,” Cirio said.

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“We start to know each other… and this means I am scoring more goals, because the team is playing better.”

Another part of the Cirio success story is his adaptability. Like many Australian clubs, depth up front is a problem for Adelaide United, and with their first options in Bruce Djite and Pablo Sanchez spending a good deal of time with the medics, it’s been Cirio that has moved into the number 11 spot.

This isn’t a just a role he is comfortable with, it’s a role he actually prefers, but just being on the pitch is good enough for the goal-sneak the Red Army has fallen in love with.

“I prefer to play like a number 11, rather than a winger, because I have the ability to go inside with my right foot,” he said.

“But I play with my team mates, Marcelo [Carrusca], Isaias, Pablo [Sanchez], Jimmy [Jeggo] and Bruce [Djite]… so I can play 11, or seven, nine or 10.

“What I like most is to play though, so I don’t care about the position.”

Cirio – who was born in Barcelona – is part of a pageant of Spaniards at Coopers Stadium who fill roles in the dugout, in the backroom and on the pitch.

This mix didn’t work wonders last year, but the Catalonians have gelled this year more than most would have dared to dream, and now find themselves undefeated in the league and hosting the FFA Cup final in December.

Cirio says that this is because the attacking mentality of the Spaniards is now settled amongst the rest of the Adelaide squad, and each part of the side is pulling in the same direction.

“I think we are better this because now we have different formations to play, and we have been playing together for one year,” he said.

“We know our movements, we know better what we have to do in defending actions; we know better what we have to do in attacking actions.

“We have the same mentality to play football… and the Spanish players and the Australian players know very well what we have to do.”

With six games gone and not a defeat to speak of, it’s hard to argue with the pacey 29-year-old, but as he says himself, the year is still young so anything can happen.

At the moment, only good things are happening and as long as Cirio keeps confusing his markers like he has over the last few months, it’s hard to see anything changing.

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