Adelaide United’s Brazilian defender Cassio talks about how Australian football has changed since he first arrived and how he adapted to life in a new country.
“From the first step into the country, especially in Adelaide, I had a great feeling that I would do well here and stay here for longer, because I only signed for one year and an option for more.
"I had a feeling I would stay more than one year; I’ve been here five-and-a-half years now and became an Australian citizen. It’s pretty weird sometimes when I think about it but it’s very nice to see that happen for my family.
“The football was a lot different from what I was used to. In South America you have a lot of the ball and play a lot more football, you don’t have much physical part of the game as we do here.
“It was physical but just for the first two months and after that I wanted to win in Australia so whatever came to me was easy because of that hunger to stay here and do my best for the club.
"South American and Brazilian football is very different but if you ask me today I would say I’d rather play here because the league is getting faster and stronger and I’m able to do that. If I went back to play there I would have to adapt again.
“When I first came out I had Diego here also (former Adelaide midfielder) and he was the one you could see straight away he was Brazilian through his touches and his skills. For me it was different.
“The Aussie mentality when I came was more running, chasing things – now you can see a lot more quality about playing football, you can see it Brisbane, Central Coast, even from us. There are good teams here and that’s nice to see, especially for me. I see the A-League building up every year.
“The coaching drills were sometimes hard to understand because of the language, even though I played in America for one season but I didn’t learn much English over there. But in Australia the players and coaches were patient to help and teach me. But when you play football, you just have to follow the others and you’ll be OK.
“What I see now compared to six years ago compared to six years ago, it’s different. The coaches try to bring a lot more quality and style, you can see the improvement. Teams try to play very nice football, good to watch, and when I first came here it weren’t like that.
"Good coaches that have come in – Ange Postecoglou, Aurelio Vidmar was a great coach, Graham Arnold – and have brought some good football to the league and as a player I’m happy to be involved in that.
"It’s important to enjoy the Aussie life; I just threw myself into it. It was easy for me because the Australian way is pretty similar to the Brazilian way – the weather, the people are friendly, like Brazilian people, which is why after two or three weeks here I saw how similar it was and the security and the beautiful things you have here in Australia.
"It wasn’t too hard – my son was born here, and I felt something special to Australia because of that as well. It was so easy to adapt."
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