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Mark Bresciano
Mark Bresciano.jpg
Personal information
Full name Mark Bresciano
Date of birth 11 February 1980 (1980-02-11) (age 30)
Place of birth Melbourne, Australia
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11+12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Palermo
Number 23
Youth career
1995–1996 Bulleen Lions
1997 AIS
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–1997 Bulleen Lions 9 (4)
1997–1999 Carlton 28 (6)
1999–2002 Empoli 80 (17)
2002–2006 Parma 123 (19)
2006– Palermo 107 (12)
National team
1997 Australia U–17 5 (5)
1998–1999 Australia U–20 7 (0)
1998–2000 Australia U–23 15 (0)
2001– Australia 52 (11)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 2008-05-19.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17:20, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Mark "Marco" Bresciano (born 11 February 1980) is an Australian association football midfielder who currently plays for Italian Serie A club Palermo and the Australian national team. He has represented Australia at all youth levels, including appearances at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship and 2000 Olympic Games, and is a regular member of the "Socceroos." He played in all of Australia's games at the 2006 World Cup. Since the age of 19, he has played his senior club football in Italy, initially with Empoli before spending four seasons with Parma, and now his current club, Palermo of Sicily.




Early days in Australia

Bresciano grew up in Rosanna in Melbourne,[1] playing football locally and joining the first team of Victorian Premier League (VPL) side Bulleen Lions in 1995 at age 15. He made little impact until his third year in the first team, scoring four goals in four league games and helping Bulleen to the 1997 VPL grand final. Bresciano's reputation began to grow and he was selected in an Australian Schoolboys squad that toured the United Kingdom in 1996.[2] In 1997, he featured prominently in Australia's unsuccessful U17 World Cup qualifying campaign, scoring five goals.

At the end of the 1997 season and upon completing high school at Marcellin College, he was offered a place at the Australian Institute of Sport, where he reunited with childhood pal Vince Grella. The players' careers would mirror in the coming years as the two supported their footballing endeavors on and off the field.[3] He and Grella signed with new National Soccer League (NSL) club Carlton for the 1997-98 season, but Bresciano was forced to wait until Round 17 to make his NSL debut. He then played every game for the rest of the year, as Carlton finished second with a place in the finals. Bresciano scored in injury time to win the elimination semi-final and put the club into its first grand final, which they lost 2-1. He stayed with the Blues for the 1998-99 season, scoring four goals in 18 games, but the club finished well outside the top six. In 1998 and 1999, Bresciano made a number of appearances for Australia in various matches at Under-20 and Under-23 level, including the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship, where the Young Socceroos were eliminated in the first round.

Move to Italy

As for many Australian players, a career in Europe beckoned for Bresciano as he sought to develop his game and further his career. Bresciano and Grella had sights set on a move to Italy, spurred in part by their Italian heritage.[3] The pair joined Empoli in 1999, who had been relegated to Serie B the previous season, and became regular selections in the first team. In Bresciano's third year at the club, he scored 10 goals and helped Empoli to a fourth position and promotion back to the top-flight Serie A. The pair also appeared several times in the Australian Under-23 team in the lead-up to the 2000 Olympics, particularly in friendlies held in Europe. They were both included in the team for the Sydney Olympics, although Bresciano only saw limited action as a substitute. The following year, his efforts with the Olympic squad were rewarded with a call-up to the "Socceroos." On 1 June 2001, Bresciano received his first cap for Australia in a Confederations Cup match against France, coming on as a substitute in the 78th minute for Josip Skoko. He made a further five appearances that year for the "Socceroos," including another match against France in a friendly at the MCG, again replacing Skoko as a substitute.

As a little kid I always wanted to play in Italy. Now that I am there I want to stay there and be the most successful Australian ever to play in Italy.

In the summer of 2002, he joined Parma for €7 million, at the time a record transfer fee for an Australian player.[4] "Moving to Parma was a big change in every way, not just money-wise but it is a big club. The structure of the club, the facilities, its popularity means you are under a lot more pressure to get a result," he said following the close of the season, well aware of his profile.[1] Though he was hampered by a series of injuries, his 24 appearances in 2002-03 helped Parma to fifth and a UEFA Cup place. With Empoli being relegated again, he was reunited with Grella who stayed in Serie A with a transfer to Parma.

Goal scoring for Parma and Socceroos

Setting himself a target for the 2003-04 season of five goals,[1] Bresciano surpassed that with eight goals from 33 appearances, the most of any midfielder in the Serie A, as Parma finished 5th in the league again. Bresciano had also claimed a regular spot in the "Socceroos" line-up,[5] justifying his selection with a string of goals, including a match-winning free-kick against New Zealand[6] and the only goal in a one-nil victory against South Africa.[7] Parma's 5th place qualified them for the UEFA Cup, where the club advanced through to the semi-finals before being eliminated by eventual winners CSKA Moscow. Their league performance that year was in stark contrast to their UEFA Cup form, as they were forced in to a play-off to retain their Serie A status by finishing 18th in the league. Bresciano and Grella were excused from the 2005 Confederations Cup by then-Australian manager Frank Farina[8] to allow them to take part in the play-off against Bologna — Parma went on to win the tie and remained in Serie A for the following season. Both players returned to the Australian squad in September 2005, now under the direction of Guus Hiddink, for World Cup qualification playoff against the Solomon Islands, followed by a friendly against Jamaica where Bresciano scored the first of Australia's five goals. After playing the first leg of the CONMEBOL-OFC World Cup qualification playoff against Uruguay on 12 November, Bresciano scored the only goal in the second leg four days later. The 1-0 win leveled the playoff 1-1 on aggregate after extra time and the "Socceroos" won the ensuing penalty shootout to advance to the World Cup.

Parma recovered well in the 2005-06 season with Bresciano playing the majority of games, finishing a respectable 10th by season's end in May 2006 (later rising to 7th and a UEFA Cup place after the Calciopoli findings). Bresciano described their resurgence as physically finding their form. Despite starting poorly, the team went from "strength to strength" as the season went on, with Bresciano himself becoming mentally tougher for the experience.[9]

2006 World Cup

Buoyed by his strong club season, Bresciano played in Australia's opening game of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, being substituted before the team went on to score three goals and defeat Japan.[10] He came on as a substitute in the second game against Brazil[11] and, in the third Group Stage game, was instrumental in the 79th minute goal scored by Harry Kewell against Croatia.[12] The goal resulted in a 2-2 draw, a result securing Australia's place in the second round. Against Italy, Bresciano was judged to be in a scoring position in the 50th minute when fouled by Marco Materazzi, the Italian receiving a red card. Italy went on to win after being awarded a penalty in the dying minutes of the game, eliminating the "Socceroos."[13] After being identified as a key player for Australia, Bresciano's overall performance at the tournament failed to live up to expectations, described by an FFA writer as "solid without being spectacular," although his role as a set-piece-specialist was highlighted.[14]

Palermo and Asian Cup

Shortly after the end of the World Cup, Bresciano was signed by Palermo on a four-year contract,[15] and made regular first team appearances in the Serie A and Europe. In October 2006 Bresciano scored what some - including Socceroos Assistant Coach John Kosmina - have described as the greatest goal ever scored for Australia in a full international match.[16] In an Asian Cup qualification match against Bahrain, Mile Sterjovski received a cross-field pass which was played first-time back in to the penalty area, Bresciano reacting quickly to turn his body horizontally and strike the ball on the volley into the net. The goal drew comparisons to his first goal for Palermo in Serie A, two months earlier, against Reggina on the opening day of the 2006-07 season.[17] Bresciano was on the pitch on 2 February 2007, when violence broke out outside the stadium in the Catania-Palermo match. He was affected by tear gas as it drifted into the stadium and afterwards described the incident as "completely terrifying".[18][19] He scored his ninth international goal against China in March 2007. A hamstring injury suffered in May caused him to miss the final round match for Palermo, Australia's friendly against Uruguay on 2 June[20] and hampered his preparations for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup. However, he recovered in time for a warmup match against Singapore and played all of Australia's first two Asian Cup matches. He was substituted in the second half against Thailand and the quarter-final against Japan before the Socceroos' elimination on penalties. The Sydney Morning Herald rated the 71 minutes played against Japan as his best performance of the tournament, after average displays in the early matches.[21]

Bresciano returned to the national team in February 2008 for Australia's opening World Cup qualification match against Qatar, starting the match and scoring the Socceroos third goal.[22] He also played a full 90 minutes in the second group match, away to China. The new campaign has also seen Bresciano change squad numbers, wearing '18' in the two qualifiers, as opposed to his traditional '23' which he has worn for the majority of his Socceroo career.

To England and back

On return from Australia's Asian Cup exit, Bresciano became the target of a transfer to English Premier League side Manchester City. After confirmation from new Palermo manager Stefano Colantuono that he would be leaving Palermo for Manchester,[23] the clubs agreed to a four-year contract with a transfer price of £5 million[24] and he began training with the City squad.[25] "I needed a new challenge and I wanted to get the excitement factor back into my game," Mark stated in confirming his desire to play in England, also citing the chance to play under Sven-Göran Eriksson as a big reason for seeking to make the switch.[26] However, talks between the two clubs broke down in finalising the move, with the timing of the transfer fee given as the primary issue - as City sought to delay payment - and Bresciano returned to Palermo to rejoin their pre-season preparations.[27][28] As the transfer deadline passed and the deal was put off indefinitely, Bresciano continued training with Palermo. He came off the bench for their opening-day loss to Roma,[29] and remained a regular selection under new manager Francesco Guidolin, although more commonly from the substitute bench.

He came off the bench in the first match of the 2008-09 season to score a goal, although Palermo lost 3-1 to Udinese. He then established himself back in the starting lineup following the appointment of new head coach Davide Ballardini, playing both as a winger and a deep-lying forward for the rosanero, and also managing to score both goals in Palermo's second seasonal away win, a 2–0 to Sampdoria on January 18, 2009.


Bresciano is one of Australia's most talented footballers and has a renowned eye for goal. He usually plays his football on the left side of midfield but can also play as a forward and in the central or right midfield role. Bresciano is a versatile player who often assists in both attack and defence and is also a set-piece specialist.[4]

Bresciano is also popular for his "Spartacus" goal celebration, that involves the player stopping in the position from where he shot from, clenching his fists by his side and raising his chin. He stands still, usually until mobbed by his teammates coming to celebrate the goal.[30]



Bresciano's correct first name is Mark and not, as is often reported, "Marco" though he is commonly referred to as Marco in Australia.[31] Interviewed for the TV documentary The Away Game, he said "In Australia, it's Marco. In Italy, it's Mark. Work that one out. My birth certificate says Mark. But I'm named after my grandfather Marco. I like Marco but not Mark-O. I prefer Mark".


Bresciano's father is Italian and his mother Croatian. His younger brother Robert currently plays for Fawkner Blues in the Victorian Premier League.[32] He married his childhood sweetheart Renée Capitanio in May 2006 in Heidelberg, Melbourne, after proposing to her at the Romeo and Juliet House in Verona.[33] In February 2007, the couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Alessia and in May 2009, the couple welcomed their second child, a daughter named Montana.[34]

Career stats

All-Time Club Performance
Club Season League Cup Continental Total
App Goals App Goals App Goals App  Goals
Bulleen Lions 1995 1 0 - - - - 1 0
1996 4 0 2 0 - - 6 0
1997 4 4 4 1 - - 8 5
Total 9 4 6 1 - - 15 5
Carlton 1997-98 10 2 4 1 - - 14 3
1998-99 18 4 - - - - 18 4
Total 28 6 8 1 - - 32 7
Empoli 1999-00 17 2 - - - - 17 2
2000-01 30 5 1 1 - - 31 6
2001-02 33 10 - - - - 33 10
Total 80 17 1 1 - - 81 18
Parma 2002-03 24 0 2 0 1 0 27 0
2003-04 33 8 3 2 2 0 38 10
2004-05 34 3 1 1 9 0 44 1
2005-06 32 8 2 0 0 0 34 8
Total 123 19 8 3 12 0 143 22
Palermo 2006-07 34 6 1 0 4 0 39 6
2007-08 26 1 2 0 2 0 31 2
2008-09 26 4 1 0 0 0 27 4
2009-10 21 1 2 1 0 0 22 2
Total 107 11 6 1 6 0 119 13
Career Totals 347 58 24 7 18 0 389 65

Cup includes domestic cups, promotion/relegation playoffs and NSL/VPL Finals series

International career

National team Year Apps Goals
Australia U17[35] 1997 5 5
Australia U20[36] 1998 4 0
1999 3 0
Australia U23[37] 1998 3 0
1999 4 0
2000 8 0
Australia[7] 2001 6 0
2002 0 -
2003 3 1
2004 6 3
2005 7 3
2006 9 1
2007 7 1
2008* 2 1
Total (full caps) 40 10


  1. ^ a b c Lynch, Michael (2003-06-24). "Bresciano aims high for team, country". The Age. Retrieved 2007-08-10. 
  2. ^ Stock, Greg. "Australian Schoolboys matches for 1996". OzFootball. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  3. ^ a b Lynch, Michael (2005-11-18). "The Brotherhood". The Age. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  4. ^ a b "Marco Bresciano: Skinhead assassin". ABC Sport Online (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 2006-04-07. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  5. ^ Cockerill, Michael (2004-05-29). "Socceroos' main man Bresciano remains happy to be a team player". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  6. ^ Fusco, Lino (2004-05-30). "Australia 1 New Zealand 0". OzFootball. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  7. ^ a b "OzFootball Archives - Australian International Games". OzFootball. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  8. ^ Marcuccitti,P (2005-06-16). "The World Cup you have when you’re not having a World Cup". Planet World Cup. Retrieved 2007-10-09. 
  9. ^ Orsatti, Andrew (2006-04-27). "Vintage Bresciano". Opinions (The World Game). Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  10. ^ "Australia 3-1 Japan". Football:World Cup 2006 (BBC Sport). 2006-06-12. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  11. ^ "Brazil 2-0 Australia". Football:World Cup 2006 (BBC Sport). 2006-06-18. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  12. ^ "Croatia 2-2 Australia". Football:World Cup 2006 (BBC Sport). 2006-06-22. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  13. ^ "Italy 1-0 Australia". Football:World Cup 2006 (BBC Sport). 2006-06-26. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  14. ^ Cooper, David (2006-06-30). "World Cup Player Ratings". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  15. ^ "Bresciano moves to Palermo". The World Game. 2006-07-22. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  16. ^ Cockerill, Michael (2006-10-12). "The best Socceroos goal ever". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  17. ^ Withers, Andy (2006-10-12). "Winning Roos fail to impress". Fox Sports.,8659,20564578-23215,00.html. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  18. ^ "Bresciano's 'terror' in Italian soccer riot". ABC Sport Online (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 2007-02-02. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  19. ^ Smities, Tom (2007-02-09). "Bresciano blinded by tear gas". Fox Sports.,,21196347-23215,00.html. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  20. ^ Smithies, Tom (2007-05-22). "Bresciano on injured list". Daily Telegraph.,22049,21769967-5006068,00.html. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  21. ^ Cockerill, Michael; Lynch, Michael (2007-07-23). "Asian Cup: Player ratings". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  22. ^ "Australia World Cup campaign off to a great start". Football Federation Australia. 2008-02-06. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  23. ^ "Palermo boss Colantuono: Bresciano on way to Man City". Tribal Football. 2007-08-03. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  24. ^ "$7m Bresciano joins City". Fox Sports. 2007-08-07.,8659,22202337-29437,00.html. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  25. ^ "Man City falter in Bresciano bid". BBC Sport. 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  26. ^ "Bresciano to Man City". Daily Telegraph. 2007-08-07.,22049,22202333-5001023,00.html. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  27. ^ "Sven Keeps Bresciano Hopes Alive". FourFourTwo Australia. 2007-08-10.,sven-keeps-bresciano-hopes-alive.aspx. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  28. ^ "Bresciano: “Contento di rimanere in rosanero”". Il Palermo Calcio. 2007-08-11. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  29. ^ "Match Report: Palermo 0 Roma 2". Il Palermo Calcio. 2007-08-26. Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  30. ^ "Schwartzer, Bresciano & Kennedy steal win". Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  31. ^ "Just call me Mark". Fox Sports. 2006-10-09.,8659,20552187-23215,00.html. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  32. ^ "Fawkner Blues F.C - Player Profiles (Defence)". Retrieved 2007-10-09. 
  33. ^ "Bresciano gets hitched". Aussies Abroad (The World Game). 2006-05-20. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  34. ^ "Calcio: Palermo; centrocampista Bresciano e' diventato papa' ". Prima Pagina ( 2007-02-10. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  35. ^ "OzFootball Archives - Joeys (U17) Games". OzFootball. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  36. ^ "OzFootball Archives - Young Socceroo (U20) Games". OzFootball. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  37. ^ "OzFootball Archives - Olyroos (U23) Games". OzFootball. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 

External links

Simple English

Mark Bresciano
Personal information
Full name Marko Bresciano
Date of birth 11 February 1980 (1980-02-11) (age 31)
Place of birth    Melbourne, Australia
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11+12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Città di Palermo
Number 23
Senior clubs
Years Club
Bulleen Lions
Città di Palermo
National team
2001-2009 Australia

Mark Bresciano (born 11 February 1980) is an Australian football player. He plays for Città di Palermo and Australia national team.

Club career statistics

Club Performance League CupContinentalTotal
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
AustraliaLeague Cup AsiaTotal
1994Bulleen LionsVictorian Premier League1000-10
1997/98CarltonNational Soccer League10241-143
ItalyLeague Coppa Italia EuropeTotal
1999/00EmpoliSerie B17220-192
2002/03ParmaSerie A2402010270
2006/07Città di PalermoSerie A3461040396
CountryAustralia 3710102-4712
Italy 2894620318032749
Total 3265630518037461

International career statistics


Australia national team



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