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Grand Final


Wild At Heart - Berisha's Grand Final Goodbye.


Signing off. Besart Berisha's big day out.

Signing off. Besart Berisha's big day out.


 Some footballers need a little madness to be free.

Brisbane Roar's Albanian ace Besart Berisha is one of them.

Just how deep he is prepared to travel to the far side of crazy in today's A League Grand Final could decide the outcome of the game.

If Thomas Broich is the General in Mike Mulvey's team, Besart Berisha is its wild heart. 

Berisha plays with the skill of an artist, the potency of a snipper and the emotional range of a 10 year old.

Wide eyed, gesticulating, smiling, laughing, pleading and crying, Berisha's heart is worn on his sleeve like a Dane Swan tattoo.

There's something beautiful about a player giving themselves so utterly to the moment and the game that they ride every moment of magic and misfortune on the pitch like a child on a playground swing.

 As he lines up in his final game for Brisbane Roar before an off season move to Melbourne Victory, Berisha is sure to be feeling a torrent of mixed emotions. 

The Albanian's time at The Roar has been momentous. It has made for him a career in the most unlikely of settings and circumstances. He has given himself heart and soul to the Brisbane cause in return it has made him its rock star striker.

Alongside duel Johnny Warren medallist Thomas Broich, Berisha has given the A League it's most alluring double act.

 Broich is the supreme technician, a gifted player with the ability to conduct the game on his terms like it were an orchestra. Berisha is a storm rather than a symphony. Thunder and lightning. Spectacular and chaotic.

This will be the last time they play together. 

His departure is a product of brutal football economics rather than a schism between player and club. Make no mistake, this is the most bittersweet of occasions for Besart Berisha.

 In last week's cut throat semi final against his future employers at Melbourne Victory he handled the moment well. He carried out his mission to perfection, careering past a couple of defenders before lashing the ball passed Nathan Coe for the only goal of the game. 

Mindful of the traveling fans who will be chanting his name next campaign, there were no wild celebrations, just a sense of relief and quiet pride that his professionalism carried the day. 

Will he be able to show a similar restraint on Grand Final day when everything is on the line and there is no tomorrow in Brisbane orange to face?

Certainly this year Berisha has sailed choppy waters. 

Besart has picked up 3 red cards in this campaign. It speaks of a player who needs to walk the fine line between magic and madness.

This season, his uncanny ability to find trouble on the pitch seemed to had gotten the better of him. At times he's played as though he were being stalked by dark clouds. 

Recently the skies have cleared and Berisha is back to something like his best form. 

Grand Finals are all about drama, and just what the football gods have in store for The Western Sydney Wanderers and The Brisbane Roar only time will tell.

One thing is certain.

However the script reads, they'll have reserved a starring role for Besart Berisha.