Giancarlo Gallifuoco made a seamless transition back into the Melbourne Victory starting line-up in Tuesday night’s win over Chiangrai United in the AFC Champions League.
Speaking after the match, the 26-year-old said it was an honour to pull on the navy blue shirt again.
“It was a fantastic feeling, I’m really, really happy to be back,” Gallifuoco said.
“I’m so grateful that my first game back for the club was in this competition, and to get a win and a clean sheet, as a defensive player that’s what I wanted to do to help the team.”
Working alongside James Donachie in defence, the pair kept Chiangrai’s Brazilian striker, Bill, at bay.
Analysing vision of the way the reigning Thai League Champions play gave Victory’s defensive unit a clear understanding of how to nullify their opponents.
“It was physical, but we knew that coming in. We’d done our homework on them, we knew that was one of their strengths so Donks and I were prepared.”
“We have a good rapport and we came in with a game plan to send them back every time they went long, and I feel like we did that.”
Playing in the ACL was a major reason behind Gallifuoco’s desire to return to Victory during the January transfer window.
Having some familiar faces in the dressing room has also helped him feel like he’s part of the furniture.
“In defence it’s so important to have a good report with your centre back partner, Donks and I played Olyroos together so we have a really good rapport off the field. It feels nice.”
“Also having Laurence Thomas down back as well, we all get along quite well and it helped me feel like I’ve been here for a while.”