From Cannavaro to cannabis - the new life of Socceroos great Bresciano

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Socceroos great Mark Bresciano has revealed to SBS Italian radio that he is now involved in the "cultivation of cannabis" as part of his post-football career.

Bresciano, who played 84 times for Australia and nine seasons in Serie A, is now back living in Melbourne where he grew up. 

At a recent event for the Italian-Australian in the Victorian capital, Bresciano spoke to SBS Italian reporter Dario Castaldo where he revealed a surprising post-football move. 

"I’m now in the construction business with my brothers and friends. I’m also involved in a project which aims to use cannabis for medicinal purposes," 38-year-old Bresciano told SBS. 

"My colleague and I are attempting to obtain a patent and license to grow and cultivate cannabis. There’s still a long way to go. But I am dedicating all my time and effort to this cause.

"We have already selected an indoor site in Melbourne where we plan to cultivate the plant. At the moment there’s just the two of us financing this proposed business. There may be a time where others may decide to invest in it.

"Using cannabis for medicinal purposes is something that remains a relatively new concept here in Australia. In the United States, Canada and Europe there are a lot of people that understand the practice a lot better.

"It’s something very different to what I am used to. And I hope one day to really grow the business. If everything goes well, around March or April next year we should be up and running."

It seems Bresciano, one of Australia's greatest ever players, has lost some of his passion for football. 

"I’m not involved in football anymore in any way. I’ve lost my love for the game a bit," he said.

"Here in Australia, football isn’t a religion like it is in Italy.

"I don’t really like watching football these days, especially in Australia. You have to wake up in the early hours of the morning (to watch Serie A).

"These days I need all my energy to concentrate on my new business. I’m enjoying my life very much.

"I’ve been back living in Melbourne now for two-and-a half-years with my wife and kids. 

"My children are happy. Italy was nice but my kids are happier here. Both were born in Palermo."

Bresciano had one of the greatest careers in Australian football history, playing against Italian legends like Roberto Baggio, Paolo Maldini, Christian Vieri, Alessandro Del Piero, Andrea Pirlo, Gianluigi Buffon and Francesco Totti. 

Not to mention international stars like Gabriel Batistuta, Pavel Nedved, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Andriy Shevchenko, Zinedine Zidane, Kaka, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, but it was a defender who impressed him the most during his time in Italy. 

"Unfortunately we played only a short time, but I have to say (Fabio) Cannavaro," Bresciano said.

"Fabio always went a thousand miles an hour, he trained with the same intensity with which he would play a World Cup final."

Bresciano is fondly remembered, among other reasons, for his statue goal celebration, which some have compared to Cristiano Ronaldo's current goal celebration. 

"I never thought about it, nor did I ever think that the way I celebrate goals could be so memorable, but it is true that they are similar, but I would say that the comparisons stop there."