Berisha: I will give everything


Melbourne Victory forward Besart Berisha is taking nothing for granted as he heads into his fifth Hyundai A-League Grand Final in seven years.

The 32-year-old has played in two Grand Finals with Victory, winning in 2015 and suffering defeat last season.

On this occasion, Berisha believes Victory is riding a wave of momentum heading into this Saturday’s showdown with Newcastle Jets.

This game is special for the club and the supporters,” he said. “This year, we’re going into it with momentum, motivation and a good attitude. Hopefully we can win and bring the trophy home.”

Berisha’s and Victory’s last visit to the McDonald Jones Stadium ended in a 2-0 defeat in February, but Victory’s fortunes have changed since. On Saturday night, Victory could make history with a record fourth Hyundai A-League Championship.

The Kosovan international is also hoping to claim his fourth championship and his second with Melbourne Victory.

On what this Grand Final means to him…
“This is my seventh year, fifth Grand Final and I feel like I am getting younger. I’m not getting older and it gives me more and more joy, as you never know when it is your last game.

“I’ll give everything and take nothing for granted because in football you never know when you’ve played your last game. In football you don’t get any younger.”

On his performances this season…
“Sometimes you cannot win as a player. If you score three, they say it’s selfish. If you don’t score, they say it’s not good. If you score 113 goals, they say ‘he just thinks about himself’. You cannot win but I just keep doing my job. I’m very happy, it is my fifth Grand Final and that says everything.

“A lot of people don’t see that I’m working hard on the field and trying. I made a great assist in Sydney, even if I didn’t score. But for me it’s really important I do my job for the club and the team.”

On Victory’s momentum…
“We have a great atmosphere in the group and a great mentality. We never give up. We’ve had a tough season this year and we have been tested. Many aspects of our game have been tested this year: injuries, red cards, the Champions League, a lot of travelling… but we stand tall and we stand together.

“It’s a great feeling to have this momentum in the team and I think it is going to help us in the Grand Final.”

On his winning mentality…
“I’m just very grateful to be playing in the Grand Final. It doesn’t come around very often, maybe only once or twice. I do everything and take nothing for granted. I love this game and I want to be ready for my club and the team.”

On recovering from Sydney…
“I’m feeling good. Games like that (Sydney) give us better recovery and more good feelings. You feel like now you’re starting the season. You’re ready and that’s good. You’re so close to a Grand Final and you feel fresh.”

On playing in Newcastle…
“It must be great for everyone in Newcastle to host a Grand Final and why not. It’s an amazing, special occasion. It doesn’t matter where it’s played – it’s going to be great and is something that every football supporter is looking forward to.”

On playing in a Grand Final…
“Every Grand Final that you have the opportunity to play in is special. You want to try everything to win and you cannot get enough. This is my fifth Grand Final in Australia and the third with Melbourne Victory. I’m really happy and I can speak for the boys too: they are feeling fantastic.”