SOCCEROOS striker John Aloisi, the only
Australian player Ronaldo has heard of, yesterday hit back at the
Brazilian great, saying: "He'll know who we are after we play them at
the World Cup."
Amused rather than annoyed by the Real Madrid striker's ignorance,
Spanish-based Aloisi chided the 2002 World Cup Golden Boot winner over
his reputation as a party animal.
"Ronaldo has been one of the best players in the world in the last 10
years and you have to respect him for that, but probably he doesn't
watch too much football, he has nightlife to worry about," Aloisi joked.
"He knows me because we've come up against each other on several
occasions (playing for Osasuna and his current club Alaves), but what
does it matter whether he knows anybody else in our side or anything
"We'll go out and do our best and I'm sure if we get a result against
Brazil, Ronaldo will certainly know who we are and what we're about. It
would be very nice to show him that Australia has more than just one
The Socceroos face the world champions in their second group match on
June 18 in Munich, a game Ronaldo claimed in an Alpha magazine article
would pit him against a Socceroos team of unknowns, other than Aloisi.
Aloisi, 30, etched his name in Australian sports folklore when he
converted the winning penalty in November's shootout in Sydney against
He returned yesterday to the scene of his triumph at Telstra Stadium
where the penalty spot he scored from was removed to be auctioned on
"The fact it's being auctioned off shows what that night means to the
Australian public and for me it was a moment to savour," Aloisi said.
That memory still looms large for the forward whose 10 goals last season
were not enough to save Alaves from relegation.
While talk of a return to Australia swirls around him, Aloisi plans at
least two more seasons in Europe, with former club Osasuna, which
qualified for the Champions League in his absence, keen to welcome him
"There are several teams interested in Spain and Osasuna are one," he
"It's nice to be wanted by your former club, but for now I just want to
concentrate on the World Cup.
"Every four years there's a team that surprises the world. Why shouldn't
that team be us this time?"
On his goalscoring feats for an Alaves team that managed just 34 all
season, Aloisi said: "I carried the momentum from qualifying for the
World (Cup) into the Spanish league. I've scored nine since Christmas.
"I've been on a high ever since Uruguay and I'm hoping it will continue