• Despite financial difficulties at the Roar, the team has flourished under John Aloisi (AAP)Source: AAP
John Aloisi has had his ups and downs since that memorable night in November 2005 but in his second coming as an A-League coach he is back at the top of the pile.
By
Matthew Connellan

20 Nov 2015 - 11:18 AM  UPDATED 20 Nov 2015 - 11:18 AM

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It looked like nothing could go wrong when Aloisi's penalty hit the back of the net to break Australia's 32 year FIFA World Cup qualification hoodoo.

In Kaiserslautern in 2006 he iced the cake with the third and final goal in the comeback win against Japan.

When his time was up in Spanish club football he came home, playing the back end of a season for Central Coast Mariners.

Seven goals in 15 games was vintage Aloisi, but then the bump in the road.

A move to Sydney FC, where he was reportedly earning $1.4 million a season (the most of any footballer in any code in the country) came with great expectations. 

And the first season was a struggle. A write-off. Only two goals (one a penalty) to show for it.

It frustrated the Sydney faithful, a frustration that reached its nadir when Aloisi missed an easy tap-in against Perth Glory. Aloisi himself ended up in the net, on his kness, his despair plain for all to see.

He was later substituted, and booed off by the fans. Sydney lost 4-1, just to rub it in.

How could it come to this?

Australia's national hero being jeered on the terraces only three years after the seminal moment in Socceroos history.

He could have taken the easy way out, when Shanghai Shenhua came calling in the off-season. But Aloisi stayed, and scored twice in the opening round of the 2009-2010 season.

His 87th minute header against Perth at Parramatta Stadium in the penultimate round of the season kept Sydney FC alive in the Premiership race, and his blockbuster 25 yarder against Melbourne Victory a week later won them the plate.

Redemption was his, and Aloisi became the first Sydney FC player to score double figures in a season. He missed the knockout part of the season with another injury, but the Sky Blues still beat Victory, on penalties, in the grand final. 

A successful stint at Melbourne Heart rounded out a stellar playing career but then came the trevails of coaching.

Heart, who swiftly promoted Aloisi to head coach, played pretty football, but he was let down by Michael Mifsud, who scored only once. Had the Malta international striker buried half his chances, Aloisi's job would have been safe.

But Aloisi, one of Australian football's true gentleman, has bounced back again.

Eyebrows were raised when he was given the Brisbane job; they were raised higher still when he appointed his brother Ross as his assistant.

However, spurred on by the vibrant Jamie Maclaren and Brandon Borrello, and strengthened by the experienced Matt McKay and Jade North, Brisbane and Aloisi are flying high, the real deal.

It's where Aloisi belongs and it couldn't happen to a nicer bloke.