Adelaide United winger Jeronimo Morales Neumann is determined to make the most of a stroke of good luck and leave his mark on the latter stages of the AFC Champions League.
The 26-year-old Argentine is a last-minute inclusion in the Reds' ACL squad after countryman Marcelo Carrusca was forced to pull out due to a persistent calf injury.
Adelaide faces Uzbekistan's Bunyodkor in the first leg of its quarter-final at Hindmarsh Stadium on Wednesday night.
Morales Neumann cannot wait for an opportunity to play in another major continental tournament after having performed for two clubs in South America's Copa Libertadores.
”Marcelo is still injured and I am sorry for him and it is unfortunate that I had to get my Champions League spot in this way,” Morales Neumann said.
”But that is football and these things happen sometimes.
”I am happy to be given this opportunity and now I want to make the most of it and do well.
”There is not much difference between the ACL and the Libertadores.”
Morales Neumann did not have much luck in South America's premier tournament.
His Ecuador side Emelec finished bottom of its group in the 2007 tournament yet things were looking up for Morales Neumann in 2010 when he was on the books of Argentine giant Estudiantes de la Plata.
He played six matches for holder Estudiantes but it was eliminated in the quarter-finals by Internacional of Brazil.
Morales Neumann, however, was able to draw on a rare experience of playing alongside a genuine star in Argentine playmaker Juan Sebastian Veron at Estudiantes.
”I joined the club after they had won the Libertadores in 2009 and I will cherish my memory of Veron,” he said.
”He was a great leader on and off the field and a great character who was always willing to give advice to all the younger players, not just me.”
Morales Neumann said he was happy to be in Australia to resume a career that saw him have a short spell at Barnsley in 2010-2011.
Morales Neumann of course might be forgiven for thinking he's still playing at home with so many 'Latinos' in the Reds squad.
Apart from Carrusca and Portuguese Fabio Ferreira, Adelaide is also home to Brazilian defender Cassio who became an Australian citizen last week but is still considered a visa player for ACL purposes.
”The playing group is helping me adjust, particularly the South Americans,” he said.
”I'm beginning to feel comfortable here and looking forward to a good season.
”I can play on the right or left wing and even behind the striker but I would not want to choose which position to play in,” he said.
”All I want to do is score goals to help the team win games and bring happiness to the fans.”
Morales Neumann's contract with Adelaide expires at the end of the 2012-2013 season.
Playmaker Dario Vidosic has survived a fitness test and will play against Bunyodkor.
Vidosic was in doubt for the match but was declared fit after he passed a searching fitness test on his troublesome hamstring on Tuesday morning.
The return leg takes place in Tashkent on October 4 (AEST).
The winner of the tie will play the winner of the quarter-final between Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal and Korea Republic's Ulsan Hyundai later in the month.
Adelaide has an added incentive to reach the final because it would host the one-off match at Hindmarsh in November.
Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller is not panicking about the prospect of more UEFA Champions League final shoot-out misery at Wembley on Saturday evening (Sunday morning AEST).