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'I'm ready': Circati targets Socceroos starting berth

3 minute read

Fresh off promotion to Italy's Serie A with Parma, defender Alessandro Circati is ready to stake his claim to become a first choice for Australia.

GRAHAM ARNOLD. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

Alessandro Circati already has a spot in Serie A in his back pocket. Now he wants to make a Socceroos starting place his own.

Confident and classy, one-cap Australia international Circati is fresh off helping to secure club side Parma's promotion to Italy's top flight.

The central defender is expected to receive a recall for World Cup qualifiers against Bangladesh - in Dhaka on June 6 - and Palestine in his home city of Perth five days later, when Graham Arnold announces his squad this week.

He will jostle with Harry Souttar, Kye Rowles and Cameron Burgess for a starting berth.

Having been a consistent starter for Parma, 20-year-old Circati feels ready to stake his claim.

"I've been given one chance, and I think I've done alright," he said of his fledgling international career.

"If I get given another chance, I'd want to do even better. I have full faith in myself and my ability.

"It's a dream to be a starting player for the Socceroos (but) whatever the coach decides then that's when it will happen.

"But I feel like I'm ready for the next level."

It's been a frustrating wait for a second national-team chance for Circati, who made his debut against New Zealand in October 2023.

He was left out of the Asian Cup squad at the beginning of this year, with Arnold hoping that would pave the way for Parma to release the defender for Olyroos duties that fell outside a recognised international window.

That didn't happen, and without him Australia fluffed their chance to qualify for the Paris Olympics via the U23 Asian Cup.

"(The Asian Cup) was a situation of Arnie picked the players he thought were better for him - in my situation it was difficult," Circati said.

"But that's just how it went. And Arnie, I've had a chat with him many times and he's always supported me.

"Everyone wants to go to the Olympics. I would have loved to go.

"We didn't qualify, so that's it. Hopefully the next Olympics maybe I can go as an overage (player)."

Circati is still recovering from the celebrations after Parma's promotion - and their Serie B title win the following week.

"We arrived in Parma and there were tens of thousands of people sitting in the piazza," he said.

"When I was in my last week there after we got promotion, I was walking and people were just saying, 'Thank you very much - you know what you did for us? Thank you'.

"It's a great feeling to know I've made people happy."

Circati is excited for his imminent Serie A opportunity, but also what it means for the Socceroos to have more players in Europe's elite leagues.

St. Pauli pair Jackson Irvine and Connor Metcalfe have secured promotion to the Bundesliga, while Ipswich Town - home to Burgess and retired Socceroo Massimo Luongo - will be a Premier League side next season.

"Everyone will be playing against the best of the best," Circati said.

"It'll be better for everyone individually, and better for Australia as a national team."

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