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Cassio makes Australia switch

7 September 2012 09:00

Adelaide United's Brazilian-born defender Cassio is hoping for a Socceroos call-up after becoming an Australian citizen on Friday.

The left-back, who is currently Adelaide's longest serving player and two-time club champion, became a naturalised Australian at the Hindmarsh Stadium ceremony.

With Australian citizenship comes the opportunity for Cassio to represent the Socceroos and the defender is excited by the possibility of donning the green and gold jersey.

"My first aim is just to be Australian. If a Socceroos call up came it would be a dream, but I have to work hard every day, I have a lot of respect for the players that are in the national squad now - so if I train and play well, then the coach might look at me," he said.

Cassio, whose wife and two sons also made the pledge, was 'proud' to make the commitment and said it was a 'special moment for me and my family'.

"I remember the first time I stepped into this country and especially into Adelaide in 2007, I remember telling my wife that I had really good feelings coming to Australia and hopefully we stay here for more than one year," Cassio said.

"We've been here for five-and-a-half years and it has been hard staying away from our families back in Brazil, but I've found new friends and new family here and that makes me feel so good and I'm very proud at this moment."

The 32-year-old expressed his gratitude to the club for giving him the opportunity to play Down Under.

"Playing football brought me here to Australia, to Adelaide United, and I'm so thankful to Adelaide United for bringing me here and that's where it all started from," Cassio said.

"I would never have imagined that I'd come here to play soccer and now I'm an Australian citizen.

"It's not just about the soccer but about lifestyle as well, I really love being here."

"I would hate to think that if I left Australia and wanted to come back that I couldn't come back permanently, but now I can come and stay here anytime. I feel like a real Australian now."

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