“One of the best I’ve played with” – Isaias backed to become...

“One of the best I’ve played with” – Isaias backed to become a Socceroo


Journalist Val Migliaccio and Adelaide United speedster Nikola Mileusnic have offered glowing endorsements of Isaias’ candidacy for a Socceroos berth at the World Cup in Russia next year.

Migliaccio reported at the weekend via the Adelaide Advertiser that Isaias was hopeful of proving himself as a bolter before world football’s showpiece rolls around next June.

Isaias said it would be a “dream” to represent Australia at the World Cup.

Former United manager and newly appointed Western Sydney Wanderers boss Josep Gombau brought Isaias to the Reds back in 2013.

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Isaias has gone on to play 103 games for the Reds, all the while winning a championship and premiership as well as the Joe Marston Medal in the same year.

Isaias was appointed Adelaide captain in September, succeeding Eugene Galekovic.

The Spaniard was granted permanent residency in Australia this year and is expected to meet each of the FIFA-enforced requirements for national team eligibility.

However, Migliaccio revealed the 30-year-old’s potential selection could come down to a matter of weeks or days.

“There’s a little bit of a grey area about the timing of his arrival (in 2013) because if it’s July, that’s not a continuous five years in the country and FIFA won’t allow him to play at the World Cup,” he said on Tuesday’s Daily Football Show.

“But I understand he actually arrived in June to start training.”

Should Isaias tick the boxes, Migliaccio declared him a perfect candidate to offer an option at defensive-midfield.

“He’s obviously got Mile Jedinak in front of him, Mark Milligan can play there but I’d say he’d be right up there,” he said.

“He fully understands the game, (and) he’s a great leader.

“He’s a guy … that is annoying for oppositions because when there’s a groundswell, when his team is getting overrun, he knows how to break up play.

“He gets chirpy and I think he’s a fantastic player all round.

“I think he’d be a great fit for the Socceroos.”

Isaias is fifth in the A-League for passes and among the top 15 for passes, all the while with a deep understanding of the style of football Ange Postecoglou looked to advance with the Socceroos in his time in charge.

He has often operated as an extra centre-back under Marco Kurz this season with an eye to easing the Reds’ injury crisis.

Mileusnic praised his skipper, insisting he is ready for the national team challenge.

“Isa (Isaias) is one of the best players I’ve ever played with … if he can tick all those boxes, I don’t see why he can’t get a chance,” he said.

“He’s definitely good enough … the guy rarely loses the ball.

“He looks after the boys as the captain, he’s very approachable.

“He’s a top role model and you just learn from him … even at training, his touch, his sharpness, it just brings the team up.”

Should Isaias be considered, he is likely to find himself competing against a host of other names for a plane ticket to Russia.

The likes of Jimmy Jeggo and Mustafa Amini have regularly been on the fringes in midfield behind the likes of Jedinak, Milligan, Jackson Irvine and Mass Luongo.

Sydney FC anchor Josh Brillante has been busy putting his own case forward, breaking up play with ease in the A-League and topping it for tackles.

The Socceroos’ new mentor will be known by mid-February after FFA considers recommendations from an expert three-person panel revealed on Tuesday.

Socceroos greats Mark Schwarzer, Mark Bresciano and Stan Lazaridis will advise FFA when considering the right person for the job.

Ultimately, Isaias’ hopes lie in the mystery person’s hands.