Australian Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has made just one change to his World Cup squad as it heads to Brazil.
But it’s a change that may prove to be the feel-good story of the tournament.
Reza Borhani is barely 18 years of age. He lives in modest lodgings on Manus Island, and is still overcoming a calf injury sustained during a recent riot.
But Postecoglou is convinced that Borhani can plug the gaps in the Socceroos’ sieve-like defence.
“He reminds me of a young me,” explained Postecoglou.
“I was five years old when I came to Australia. At the time I never expected to represent this country as both player and coach.”
“Reza has plenty to offer, and I’m glad he’s playing for us, rather than against us.”
Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison welcomed the inclusion of Borhani in the squad, and cited it as proof that the sporting facilities at Manus Island are world-class.
“And to think, there were people out there who thought I was Manus Island’s most aggressive defender!” he joked.
Mr Morrison also reiterated that the government’s hard-line policies are working, noting that no untalented soccer players had arrived in Australia since the Coalition took office.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott personally congratulated Borhani on his call-up.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for Reza…” [long pause] “It’s a tremendous opportunity…” [longer pause]. “It’s an opportunity for Reza to give something back to the country that has been so good to him.”
Borhani is expected to return to Manus Island for ongoing de-humanising and processing following the World Cup campaign, unless Australia progresses to the quarter-finals.
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