Every person confronts roadblocks that threaten to stand in the way of their dreams. The facet that separates the successful from the talented is the ability to overcome these obstacles on the way to glory.
Andrew Nabbout knows this better than most.
An archetypal modern winger, Nabbout is a Rolls-Royce of an attacker possessing the guile and desire to match the most battle-hardened players whilst boasting the pace and power to both out-muscle and out-sprint defenders.
These physical attributes combined with his technical prowess and versatility make Nabbout a nightmare for opposition teams.
However, this was not always the case for the now nine-time Socceroo and Melbourne City dynamo.
Since the dawns of his career, Nabbout has been faced with unrelenting hurdles that have threatened to stand in the way of his dream of winning silverware.
Perhaps the most poignant obstacle of Nabbout’s career thus far has been persistent injury issues that have inhibited his consistency and ability to play regular football.
Nabbout Declares Fitness Ahead of Grand Final
Despite some swashbuckling performances for City this season, Nabbout’s season was interrupted by injuries that threatened to keep him out of the Finals Series.
However, in a crucial moment ahead of Sunday’s Grand Final, Nabbout has declared his fitness and is prepared to play a role in halting Sydney FC’s push for a 3rd consecutive A-League Championship.
“It’s a Grand Final so you’ve got to roll the dice”, said Nabbout also declaring that he has “five or six weeks after to feel the effects (of playing in the Grand Final)”.
Having missed last weekend’s stellar Semi-Final victory against Macarthur FC, Nabbout will not allow injuries to derail his desire to help Melbourne City to a maiden A-League Championship on Sunday.
“I’m gonna push and do everything to be ready”.
Injuries Threaten to Overshadow World Cup Dream
Should Nabbout start for City on Sunday, it will mark an important occasion to rewrite his injury woes after his body has affected multiple footballing opportunities for him in the past.
Most notably, Nabbout entered the 2018 World Cup in stellar form after joining Japanese powerhouse Urawa Red Diamonds following a superb return for the Newcastle Jets in the A-League.
These performances saw Nabbout begin the World Cup as Bert van Marwijk’s preferred number nine as Nabbout fought gallantly against the likes of Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappé to give the Socceroos a chance against eventual Champions France.
Despite providing a shining light as the fulcrum of the Socceroos’ attack, Nabbout suffered a dislocated shoulder 75 minutes into Australia’s 1-1 draw against Denmark in the 2nd match of the World Cup.
This injury thwarted Nabbout’s dreams of a World Cup goal as he was ruled out for the remainder of the tournament whilst also missing Urawa’s first 16 matches in the J-League after the World Cup.
After shining for so long, Nabbout was left stranded and struggled to re-establish himself in Urawa’s best XI, having started just one of the remaining six games of the season after returning from injury.
These struggles saw Nabbout return to City’s cross-town rivals Melbourne Victory where an underwhelming season for the team left the star winger reeling for a move at season’s end.
Fortunately for Nabbout, the COVID-19 pandemic left him with little other choice but to sign for Melbourne City after previously wishing to sign for Perth Glory.
Nabbout’s unflappable resilience to overcome the rich vein of adversity that has enveloped the last couple years of his career is something to be commended. The Socceroo attributes his ability to crush these obstacles as a testament to Melbourne City as a football club.
“I’ve felt at home this season at this club”.
“I don’t wanna lift another trophy wearing a suit”
A win on Sunday would provide Nabbout with immense satisfaction and would represent a phenomenal capacity to overcome adversity to achieve one’s dreams, especially after being reduced to the sidelines during Melbourne City’s Premiership celebrations earlier this season.
“I don’t wanna lift another trophy wearing a suit, I’d rather be lifting it in my playing kit!
“That’s the extra motivation for me to go out and contribute to the team’s success and what better way to finish it off than to lift the Grand Final trophy, the toilet seat in front of our home fans.
“The last time I won one, I lifted it in a suit and I don’t want that to happen again so I’m gonna be doing everything I can”.
Creating a Legacy at City
This recognition as a key contributor to his team’s success is what drives Nabbout’s motivation ahead of Sunday’s Grand Final as he seeks to establish a legacy at Melbourne City.
“To have a trophy to your name is massive.
“You go your whole life being so proud of that and it’s something you can tell your kids and your grandkids about.
“We’ve got one more big game and I’m gonna do everything I can to help write history”.
In the absence of City’s star Socceroo Jamie Maclaren, Nabbout is prepared to fill the boots of the A-League’s Golden Boot winner if required but decided against offering a hint as to what his role will be on Sunday.
“You’ll just have to wait and see (whether Nabbout will be deployed as a number 9).
“I don’t know what the gaffer’s plans are but Cola (Stefan Colakovski) did an exceptional job the other week (in place of Jamie Maclaren).
“Whatever role they want me to play in, I’m happy to play in”, jovially declared Nabbout.
Regardless of where he lines up on the pitch, a win would serve as the ultimate reward for Nabbout’s indefatigable perseverance as he seeks to lead Melbourne City to their maiden A-League Championship.
Ultimately, should City’s quest for glory prove successful, nobody would be more deserving of a winner’s medal than Andrew Nabbout.
Image Supplied: Melbourne City