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Chelsea out to maul Black Cats

Chelsea 15 hours ago
Read
Apr 23, 2012

Berisha toast of Brisbane at Roar's parade

In some eyes he is public enemy No.1 but Besart Berisha was easily the crowd favourite as Brisbane Roar celebrated their second straight A-League title with a tickertape parade.

Debate is still raging over whether Perth Glory's Liam Miller fouled Berisha in stoppage time of Sunday's A-League grand final before the Albanian international converted the penalty to seal a controversial 2-1 win for the Roar.

But there was no doubt in the minds of the thousands who packed Brisbane's CBD on Tuesday to applaud the Roar's historic back-to-back championships - nor in the mind of Berisha.

A year after receiving the keys to the city, the team were honoured with certificates of appreciation from Queensland Premier Campbell Newman when the parade finished at King George Square.

And Berisha got the biggest cheer when he took centre stage.

"I am happy to celebrate the title," a bleary-eyed Berisha said as fans chanted his name.

The colourful striker then led the Roar faithful into song after commandeering a microphone.

"I don't know if it is the drink or him that is giving me a headache," Roar foundation player Massimo Murdocca said.

Roar defensive midfielder Erik Paartalu had no doubt Berisha - the league's top scorer for the season - had earned his moment.

"He's lapping it up and rightly so," he said.

"He is the heart and soul of the team."

The last-gasp penalty was not the only talking point swirling around the Roar like the confetti at their parade.

The future of Roar coach Ange Postecoglou appeared uncertain, with the mentor heavily linked to a move to Melbourne Victory.

But he seemed to give the Roar a glimmer of hope when he told fans on Tuesday: "Let's make it three".

Barely two hours later Postecoglou released a statement saying he had resigned "effective immediately".

Paartalu said before the bombshell that whatever Postecoglou decided, it would not distract Brisbane as they looked to complete their Asian Champions League campaign.

"We would love to have him for the rest of our careers, he has brought the best out of us," Paartalu said.

"It would be a shame if we parted ways.

"There's been so much speculation, we will have to wait and see - right now it is about enjoying the moment."

The new Brisbane coach will be announced on Wednesday.

In the meantime Brisbane will prepare before flying out on Sunday ahead of Tuesday's away clash with FC Tokyo before concluding the group phase schedule by hosting Beijing Guoan on May 16.

"That (ACL) was always going to take a back seat when we are trying to win another one of these but we will give it everything we have got and go from there," Paartalu said.

"From our point of view this season has been just as successful as last year.

"We didn't win the Premier's Plate (as minor premiers) but I still think our performance has been fantastic."

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