Broich and Berisha share coffee, a quip and loads of respect


It was as if they had never been apart as two of the most famous faces in the Hyundai A-League shared a special glimpse into their enduring friendship in Brisbane today.

The Roar’s Thomas Broich and Melbourne Victory’s Besart Berisha were surrounded by cameras, microphones and delighted onlookers, but chatted like old times as they shared a coffee, reminisced and even joked ahead of their teams’ pivotal Hyundai A-League Round 26 clash at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow (7.30pm kick off).

They only thing the two long-time friends, former team mates and now opponents could not agree on was who would get the last laugh in tomorrow’s penultimate round showdown.

Three points could deliver the Premier’s Plate to the Victory. A win for the reigning Premiers will put them in a strong mindset to start the defence of their Champions crown in the Final Series in two weeks.

“They have beaten us, they know how to beat us. We now have to work out how to beat them,” said Broich, referring to Wednesday night’s 2-1 loss to the Victory and the Melbourne side’s 1-0 win earlier in the season.

“We weren’t quite there on Wednesday but we still had our moments in the game.

“They are the top team at the moment – we are going to go out there and test ourselves again. If we manage to be a little braver on Saturday, we will be a chance.”

Besart, who had three glorious seasons with the Roar and scored 48 goals for the club before his move to Victory in the last off-season, admitted his emotions were torn when he scored on his return to Suncorp Stadium this week.

“I didn’t feel good but I know and everyone knows the way I am – I always try my best for my team,” the Albanian striker said.

“I knew I had a big job to do for my club and I tried my best to do that.”

Berisha, who notched his 100th A-League game on Wednesday, said it was great to be back in Brisbane and see so many familiar faces again.

And he had special praise for the Roar supporters at the game on Wednesday night.

“There are a lot of friends here and people I miss of course. It is always good to be back (and) I miss of course this man here (Broich),” Berisha said, patting his mate on the shoulder.

“There were a lot of supporters there Wednesday. It’s always good to see them as they are always good people. It was very emotional for me.

“It took a long wait – eight months to be back, I really missed it.”

Broich said he too had mixed emotions about facing his good friend on the field this season.

“It’s tough to play against Bes. He’s a true warrior out there,” Broich said.

“He’s very physical hard-working player. At the same time I really enjoyed it. I thought it was a really good test.”

And despite the media focus on their catch up at the Eagle Street Pier flagship premises of the Roar’s principal partner, The Coffee Club, Broich and Berisha still found time for a laugh among old friends.

Berisha first joked that Broich may have slipped something into his coffee to keep him off the field tomorrow.

The German later shot back that part of his preparations for the clashes against Victory included changing his phone number so Berisha couldn’t contact him.

The Albanian responded: “I will find this number, I will find this number.”

But it was Broich who delivered the final zinger when he went behind the counter to assist several Coffee Club staffers.

“Just call me Besart Barista,” he joked.

If only all rivalries could be this friendly.