We've counted down our top 10 of the Hyundai A-League's finest midfielders and now here are the top two - and they're both imports...
2. Carlos Hernandez (Melbourne Victory)
If this countdown were about pure ability to strike a football then Hernandez’s ability to lash a shot would have him at No.1 in the all time list of A-League players. And King Carlos has the highlight reel to prove it.
Initially bought to Australia as a marquee player, the Costa Rica international has never failed to disappoint any fan when it comes to bringing flair and individual brilliance to the game, though he has at times been criticised for being lazy on the training paddock or in defence.
Regardless of that Hernandez has managed to net more goals than any other midfielder in the history of the league, scoring 36 times in 121 games for a strike rate of almost 30 per cent.
At least two of those goals would have to be contenders for the best goal in Hyundai A-League history. His strike against Gold Coast United in the 2009 A-League finals left Jess Van Strattan stranded and he did similar this year to the Mariners’ Justin Pasfield to claim Goal of the Season.
Certainly what he brings to the game is a remarkable presence around the box and creative brilliance to the midfield and did so for the Victory for six seasons; his loss is the league’s loss, as he is a true entertainer on the pitch.
Hernandez’s 2009 and 2010 seasons were truly remarkable in that he claimed the Premiership/Championship double with the Victory in 2009 and then went on to win the Johnny Warren Medal in 2010.
1. Thomas Broich (Brisbane Roar)
Unwanted by Borussia Monchengladbach, Broich was supposed to be a star of the German national team alongside Lukas Podolksi and Bastian Schweinsteiger, but that never eventuated.
He was touted as being so good that he even had a documentary made on his career entitled Tom meets Zizou but, for a variety of reasons things never quite worked out for him in Germany despite a number of appearances for Monchengladbach - stints at Koln and especially Nuremburg were unhappy times in his career.
Then came the desire to move abroad and when Ange Postecoglou and the Roar came calling it was a comfortable fit for the laid-back German.
Under Postecoglou, who had a heavy emphasis on attacking, free-flowing football, Broich was allowed to display his natural flair and free-spirit and very quickly he became one of the must see acts of the A-League, slotting in alongside Matt McKay in the middle of the park.
His first season saw him lead the league in goal assists and it was he who teed up both the Roar goals in their first ever Grand Final victory as they claimed the double.
More success came in 2011/12 with the Roar claiming their second straight championship and Broich winning the Johnny Warren Medal, despite playing only a third of the season.
The most telling results to measure his impact came when he was out injured and the Roar not only struggled to win, but simply score goals.
One of the most creative midfielders the league has seen, unlike Hernandez he is not known for his stinging shot, but rather his ability to create for his teammates and beat defenders when he is on the ball.
Broich is not only the most effective import to play in the A-League, but also after seven seasons has to be named the greatest midfielder to grace the league.
The A-League Best Midfielders
1. Thomas Broich
2. Carlos Hernandez
3. Steve Corica
4. Matt McKay
5. Marcos Flores
6. Nick Carle
7. Jason Culina
8. Travis Dodd
10. Tim Brown
What do you think of the list? have your say below...