Besart Berisha is primed for a possible showdown against Melbourne Victory.
Besart Berisha is primed for a possible showdown against Melbourne Victory.

Berisha revved up for Honda

BESART Berisha admitted he would have relished playing with Keisuke Honda, but has no regrets about leaving Melbourne Victory ahead of their potential showdown.

The A-League's record goalscorer revealed that he had a premonition that he would face his old side within a year of leaving, with his Japanese club Sanfrecce Hiroshima just one win away from facing Victory in the Asian Champions League.

Sanfrecce will join Victory in Group F by winning next Tuesday's one-off home playoff against Thailand's Chiangrai United or Myanmar's Yangon United, who face off on Tuesday night.

Honda's rock star return to Japan is set down for March 12, before Berisha's emotional AAMI Park homecoming is scheduled for May 22.

"Honestly I had a feeling. When I left Victory, I knew Victory was going to be in the Champions League and I know that two teams in Japan are in the Champions League,'' Berisha said.

"I did it against Brisbane many times, against my old coaches, in Japan against Ange at Yokohama. It follows me everywhere, so I wasn't surprised. It's very exciting.

"It's not easy (playing against your old team) but you have to try and do your job.

"No regrets at all. I cannot feel sad. After four years in Melbourne and seven years in Australia - as a player you always want to be challenging yourself.

Berisha was ready for something new. (AAP Image/Daniel Pockett)
Berisha was ready for something new. (AAP Image/Daniel Pockett)

"I won the golden boot, FFA Cup, premiership, championship. I felt like there was no challenge left and I wanted to leave Victory with a smile like I did at Brisbane. That was my dream for Melbourne because they deserved it.

"I came and won a trophy and left winning a trophy, it was just the perfect time to say I'm finished in Australia."

Berisha scored 86 goals in 137 games for Victory but reckons it might have been more had he been on the end of Honda's silver platter service.

"Honda is a big part of the success and I kind of thought, why didn't I have Honda when I was there? The way he plays the balls in behind the defenders, why could I not be there,'' he said.

"I watched all the games and the way he passes it, I remember the Perth game how many balls he put in for the attackers was ridiculous. And as a striker I never had that. If I had one chance, maybe two, if I didn't put one away I was in big trouble.

"With Honda, you have 10 chances in the game, which is great."

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