Berisha praises father's role
By Football News
The new holder of the all-time Brisbane Roar scoring record, Besart Berisha, has his pushy father Selim to thank for his predator instinct in front of goal.
The Albanian's deft, lofted finish in Sunday's 1-1 draw in Wellington pushed him one goal ahead of Sergio van Dijk to hand him sole ownership of the Roar's leading goalscorer crown.
He now has an incredible 26 goals in just 38 appearances in an orange shirt.
Two of those came in the AFC Champions League, meaning he needs just one more to edge out van Dijk to claim Brisbane's A-League scoring record and cement his reputation as the club's best poacher in its short history.
But none of this would have been possible were it not for Berisha's father, who refused to let his coaches play him anywhere but at the point of attack when he was coming through the ranks in Germany.
Take a look at the 27-year-old when he doesn't have the ball. He never stops working, with his bottomless tank and relentless pressure making him a nightmare for the opposition to play around.
He could have easily been moulded into a defender, but for dad Selim.
"I've always been a striker. The reason is my dad never allowed me to play other positions when I was small," Berisha told reporters on Wednesday.
"My coaches loved me in defence because I was a really (hard) worker but my father didn't like that. He didn't really care what the coaches said. He said 'no, my son has to play striker.'
"Since then I've just been a striker. I thank my father because I love this position, it fits for me.
"If I had the power I'd be the goalkeeper also, if it was possible."
Berisha knows he has an audience back in Europe for every goal he puts away for Brisbane, with his father dragging himself out of bed at ungodly hours to watch his son.
"He (wakes up) very early to see the games in the morning. He is very proud, of course, like he's always been," Berisha said.
"I'm proud if I can score one goal and my father can see that."
Understandably delighted to have officially become the Roar's most clinical striker, Berisha is quick to point out that his teammates deserve plenty of credit for their silver-platter service.
"If you see how much good assists and balls and support I get from my team ... they are the big, main (reason) why I am successful," he said.
"It means a lot to have this record. But I'm more happy that I'm at this club and can help to achieve things.
"It's not happened (like) this in my career (before), but it's happened now."
Brisbane will return to Suncorp Stadium on Saturday to face expansion side Western Sydney, who are yet to open their account three games into life in the A-League.
They can expect zero mercy from Berisha, the man for who scoring comes so freely.
"I will not give any tips to them. Maybe after the game I will do that," he said.
"What they achieved so far - for a new team, it's amazing. Once they get their first goal they'll get a lot of goals, I think."