The A-League is acquiring a distinct Latin flavour as its growing reputation continues to attract players from all over the world.
The face and character of the competition have changed so much from season one that we might as well start calling it the 'Latino League'.
Sydney FC's bold attempt to draw Italian World Cup star Alessandro Del Piero to our shores came about through a set of extraordinary circumstances.
Yet it also illustrated very clearly that A-League clubs now are more than willing to go against tradition and look beyond the British Isles for recruitment and playing style.
When the A-League kicked off in 2005 amid great fanfare, the vast majority of the eight teams' imported players came from Britain.
Newcastle Jets' Uruguayan defender Mateo Corbo was the one and only representative of the so-called Latin style of football.
It is a school that basically puts technique before physique and creativity before pragmatism although the difference in mentality is not as pronounced as it used to be, say, 40 years ago.
As today's 10 clubs continue to hone their skills for the forthcoming season, it is interesting to note a dramatic change of direction in terms of foreign signings.
No fewer than 15 players from South/Central America and 'Latin' Europe will line up for their clubs in just under a month, provided Del Piero puts pen on paper in Turin early in the week.
A-League fans will be able to watch seven Brazilians and four Argentines together with a Spaniard, Portuguese, Panamanian and most probably one very famous Italian.
A-League rules allow a maximum of five visa players per club.
Leading the way is Adelaide United, an organisation that does not have the financial resources of the clubs on the eastern seaboard and relies essentially on gates for survival.
The Reds' foreign legion includes Argentina's Marcelo Carrusca and Jeronimo Morales Neumann, Brazil's Cassio and Portugal's Fabio Ferreira, four players who will be expected to light up Adelaide's play in the coming months.
"Our fans need to be entertained and I can think of no better way to do that than by going for Latin players and the type of creative play they should produce," chairman Greg Griffin said.
"It is a definite shift in our approach as a club.
"Ninety per cent of trialists which our football department have looked at in the last four months came from South America."
Adelaide is not the only club that seems to have realised that an influx of so-called entertainers can only embellish and enrich the competition.
Or at least give it a different feel and look.
Melbourne Victory, which enjoyed great success with flamboyant Carlos Hernandez from Costa Rica, will field midfielders Guillherme Finkler of Brazil and Marcos Flores of Argentina.
Newcastle will foist on the league a Brazilian tandem in the name of defender Tiago Calvano and Bernando Ribeiro.
The importation of so many extrovert characters who arrive with a pedigree and reputation essentially because of where they come is fraught with hidden perils.
Several Australian clubs have been bitten in the past by splashing out big money on duds or spent forces and they would be the first to acknowledge that passports do not guarantee success.
But if the combined legion of American and European Latinos brings a taste of the flair, creativity and eccentricity that is usually associated with football from that part of the world, Australia as a country would be well on its way to recognising that there is more to football than the English style we have been accustomed to for decades.
Nothing against the English or their style of football – it would be nice if the Australian game were half as strong as that of England with all its faults.
Yet it is also true that Latin virtuosity can only be good for our league.
The A-League's clubs should take a bow for adopting this overdue approach.
The following is the list of visa players in the A-League:
Adelaide United: Marcelo Carrusca (Argentina), Cassio (Brazil), Fabio Ferreira (Portugal), Jeronimo Morales Neumann (Argentina), Sergio Van Dijk (Netherlands).
Brisbane Roar: Besart Berisha (Albania), Thomas Broich (Germany), Henrique (Brazil), Do Dong-hyun (Korea Republic), Yuji Takahashi (Japan).
Central Coast Mariners: Michael McGlinchey (New Zealand), Patrick Zwaanswijk (Netherlands), Nick Montgomery (England).
Melbourne Heart: Fred (Brazil), Patrick Gerhardt (Liberia), Jonatan Germano (Argentina), Stephen Gray (Ireland Republic), Josip Tadic (Croatia).
Melbourne Victory: Jonathan Bru (Mauritius), Guillherme Finkler (Brazil), Marcos Flores (Argentina), Marco Rojas (New Zealand), Adama Traore (Cote d'Ivoire).
Newcastle Jets: Michael Bridges (England), Tiago Calvano (Brazil), Bernardo Ribeiro (Brazil), Diminik Ritter (Switzerland).
Perth Glory: Steven McGarry (Scotland), Billy Mehmet (England), Liam Miller (Ireland Republic), Bas Van den Brink (Netherlands).
Sydney FC: Fabio Alves (Brazil), Pascal Bosschaart (Netherlands), Kruno Lovrek (Croatia), Yairo Yau (Panama), Alessandro Del Piero (Italy, unconfirmed).
Wellington Phoenix: Paul Ifill (Barbados), Dani Sanchez (Spain), Alex Smith (United States).
Western Sydney Wanderers: Dino Kresinger (Croatia), Jerome Polenz (Germany), Mateo Poljak (Croatia).
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