23/04/2024

In a long standing rivalry, there's been many heated moments when the Victory and Adelaide United have clashed. (Picture: MyFootball)

With the Original Rivalry between Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United set to take place twice this week, we name a best XI made up of players from both sides.

The Original Rivalry between Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United has been one of the A-League Men’s longest running rivalries, with many memorable clashes having taken place.

With the two sides set to meet twice this week in both the FFA Cup and in the league, The Inner Sanctum has selected a combined best starting XI comprising of players from on both sides who’ve played in the derby since the inception of the A-League back in 2005.

Goalkeeper – Eugene Galekovic

Though former Victory keepers Lawrence Thomas and Michael Theo were strong contenders for the number one keeping position, Adelaide’s Eugene Galekovic ultimately takes the spot.

No player has appeared in more Original Rivalry clashes than Galekovic, having spent two years at the Victory from 2005-2007 before heading to the Reds where he’d play for a decade from 2007-2017.

During his playing career with Adelaide he’d win the A-League’s Golden Glove Award four times, and go down as one of the best goalkeepers to play in the competition.

Galekovic instructing his side against the Newcastle Jets. (Picture: MyFootball)

Right back – Richie Alagich

Slotting in as the number two in the starting XI is former united fullback Richie Alagich, one of United’s greatest ever defenders.

Playing for United from 2003-2008, Alagich was with the club during the NSL era and was a regular in the early years of the A-League competition, taking part in clashes against the Victory when a rivalry between the two sides was beginning to emerge.

Richie Alagich taking a throw-in (Picture: Adelaide United FC)

Centre back – Kevin Muscat

Having garnered a reputation for being an aggressive player during his time at the Victory, Kevin Muscat was a ruthless captain who led from the back, and was an integral part of helping the Victory claim two A-League Premierships over the Reds.

Playing from 2005-2011, Muscat has been involved in the rivalry since it’s infancy, and was part of the club when the derby began to heighten with the two sides regularly meeting during the finals between 2007 and 2009.

Former club captain Kevin Muscat coaching the Victory in training. (Picture: MyFootball)

Centre back – Adrian Leijer

Often a centre back partner with Muscat at the Victory, Adrian Leijer will also partner him in this combined XI.

Having registered close to 200 appearances for the Victory, Leijer was an integral part of the club’s success, having captained the club and was an important player during the Victory’s championship winning years.

Spending close to a decade with the Victory during his two stints with the club, Leijer was an influential defender and often stood tall in Original Derby fixtures.

Adrian Leijer in training for the Melbourne Victory (Picture: MyFootball)

Left back – Leigh Broxham

Though not a conventional fullback, Broxham has demonstrated in 300 plus games with the Victory that he’s versatile and more than capable of playing as a number three.

Having started his career back in 2006 with the club, no player for Melbourne has featured in more clashes against United than Broxham. He was also a part of the championship winning squads that beat the Reds in 2007 and 2009.

A champion of the club, Broxham is the only player to have featured in all four of the Victory’s winning grand finals.

Broxham celebrating after scoring in the 2015 Grand Final. (Picture: MyFootball)

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Right midfield – Travis Dodd

An Adelaide United legend, the right winger was an integral player for United during his five-year stint with the club, starring with his pace and ability to dribble past defenders.

Despite playing in wide areas, Dodd had little troubles finding the back of the net, scoring 39 goals in 166 appearances in a Reds jersey.

He enjoyed playing in the Original Derby having scored six goals against the Victory during his career, including a brace in United’s largest win over Melbourne, having won 4-1 back in 2007.

Travis Dodd playing in the Asian Champions League for United. (Picture: Adelaide United FC)

Central defensive midfield – Mark Milligan

Former Victory captain and recently retired Mark Milligan takes out the holding midfield spot. Having made 87 appearances for the Victory, Milligan has featured in several big Original Derby wins.

After signing with the club in 2012, Milligan was an instant hit, serving as one of the club’s best ever defensive midfielders. He scored 14 goals in his 63 appearances despite playing largely in defensive positions.

Mark Milligan on international duty with the Socceroos. (Picture: Socceroos)

Central attacking midfield – Marcelo Carrusca

The Argentinian playmaker is one of the best foreign players to have worn the Reds jersey, causing troubles for opposition defences with his clinical passing and dribbling skills.

Carrusca would score 27 goals in 122 appearances for the Reds and was a key player in Adelaide’s Premiership and Championship winning season back in 2016.

Marcelo Carrusca taking on the Melbourne Victory (Picture: MyFootball)

Left midfield – Marco Rojas

The Kiwi winger has been an exciting player during his three stints with the Victory. Despite his highlights, he’s also had an unlucky run with injuries during his career.

When he’s been fit and able to play Rojas is a class player, after bursting onto the scene with the club in the 2012/13 season taking out both the A-League Young Player of the Year Award and Johnny Warren Medal.

Having made just over 100 appearances for the Victory, Rojas will go down as one of the club’s best wide players with his silky skills and attacking prowess.

Marco Rojas taking on the Perth Glory in his third stint with the club. (Picture: MyFootball)

Striker – Besart Berisha

The all-time leading A-League Men goal scorer, there’s no surprises that Besart Berisha starts up front, having been prolific during his four-year stint with the Victory scoring 68 goals for the club.

He’d also score big goals against United, none more memorable than his late overhead winner against Adelaide in the 2018 elimination final. Part of two championships with the Victory, Berisha was a key part of the club’s success during his time there.

Berisha celebrating after scoring in the 2017 A-League Grand Final. (Picture: MyFootball)

Striker – Archie Thompson

Rounding out the combined XI is a player who boasts one of the best ever A-League performances, let alone grand final performances, having scored five goals against Adelaide in the A-League Grand Final back in 2007.

Featuring in a multiple clashes against United, Thompson often found the net against the South Australian outfit, scoring 12 goals against them.

A Victory original having signed for the club in 2005, Thompson would score 90 goals for the Victory, still holding the mantle as the club’s greatest ever goal scorer.

Archie Thompson celebrating after scoring a hat-trick in the 2007 A-League Grand Final. (Picture: Socceroos)

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