Bresciano ended his four-year association with Parma, by signing with the Sicilian club, in a deal that involved Palermo players Igor Budan and Maurizio Ciaramitaro going to Parma on loan.
The deal will see Bresciano at least involved in UEFA Cup action as Palermo finished eighth in the Serie A last season, but with Juventus, AC Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina all barred from competing in European football due to the fall-out from the Italian match-fixing scandal, Palermo is set to play in one of Europe’s biggest football competitions.
It is the third Italian club for Bresciano after he after played three seasons with Empoli before moving to Parma in 2002. The Melbourne-born international, who always wears Number 23, starred for Parma playing 123 matches and scoring 17 goals and was the top-scoring midfield player in the 2003-2004 Serie A season.
The transfer marks the break-up of a 10-year partnership between Bresciano and Socceroos teammate Vince Grella who have played together since their days as teenagers at the AIS.
In other transfer news, Socceroos defender Ljubo Milicevic has moved to Young Boys from fellow Swiss club FC Thun, while in Romania, striker Ryan Griffiths has transferred from FC National to rivals Rapid Bucuresti.
Meanwhile, FC Basel is reportedly interested in signing Socceroo midfielder Luke Wilkshire who is currently training with FC Twente in Holland. His agent reports that Sheffield United and Leeds United are still keeping close tabs on his movements and that several Italian clubs are also interested, following his performances at the World Cup.
In England, former Qantas Socceroo defender Hayden Foxe is trying to resurrect his injury plagued career with trials at Leeds United. He played a full game for Leeds in a pre-season trial match against Hartlepool which also featured former NSL star Joel Porter.
MATILDAS INTO SEMIS
The Australian women’s football team, the Matildas, have qualified for the semi finals of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup after a resounding 5-0 victory over Thailand in Adelaide. The Matildas finished in equal top spot in Group B with North Korea. The two teams battled out a scoreless draw last Saturday in addition to securing three wins.
But due to a superior goal differential, North Korea has been declared the top team and will face Group A runners-up China in one semi-final while the Matildas will take on Group A winners, Japan, in the other semi-final on Thursday.
The semi-final match holds massive significance with a berth at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup on the line. Along from host-nation China, the two top teams in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup will qualify for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup while the third-best team (excluding China) will play-off against a representative from CONCACAF. www.sportal.com.au