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Vincenzo "Vince" Grella (born on 5 October 1979 in Dandenongmarker, Victoriamarker) is an Australian football Defensive Midfielder who plays for Blackburn Roversmarker in Englandmarker's Premier League and for the Australian national team.

Club career

Career in Italy

He had a ten-year stint in Italymarker's professional leagues after beginning his career in the Australian NSL. He has been a regular for Australia since 2003, playing in his customary defensive midfield position, and was involved in both the 2006 World Cup and the 2007 Asian Cup.Grella's friendship with Australian teammate Mark Bresciano is well known. Grella has described Bresciano as "even more than a brother"; they played together at the AIS, Carlton and Empoli, and were reunited in 2004 when Grella joined Parma, before Bresciano moved on to Palermo in 2006. Aged 19, Grella made his debut in Serie A with Empoli, in a match against Juventus at the Stadio delle Alpimarker, where his first job was to mark Zinedine Zidane. (Empoli held Juventus to a 0-0 draw). Grella built up his reputation in Italy during his time with Empoli, to overcome initial doubts about his suitability to Serie A and earn the respect of the Italian media, coaches and fellow players. Grella was widely linked with a move to AC Milan in 2003, although the proposed transfer never eventuated, and he moved to Parma a year later. While at Parma, both Grella and Bresciano were excused from the 2005 Confederations Cup by the then-Australian manager Frank Farina to allow the pair to take part in a relegation playoff between Parma and Bologna–which Parma won, to avoid relegation.

Grella was named as captain of Parmamarker for the 2006–07 season, and played a key role helping the team avoid relegation from Serie A for a second consecutive season. On 20 June 2007 Grella signed a three-year contract with Torino, one of several new signings made by the The Bull. The move to Torino was a free transfer due to the expiry of his contract with Parma. During his one season in Turinmarker, he was a regular member of the side, although his season was interrupted by injury on several occasions. He scored one league goal for Torino, a powerful volley from the edge of the penalty area, which cannoned in off the far post to draw level with Fiorentina. The goal was a candidate for goal of the month for January in Serie A. It was only the sixth league-goal of his career.

Career in England

On 26 August 2008, Grella joined English Premier League outfit Blackburn Roversmarker on a four-year deal, for an undisclosed fee, rumored to be around £4m (with the initial fee later revealed as 4.2m), having previously been linked to fellow Premiership club Fulham. He joined fellow Australian Brett Emerton at the club. He made his first appearance for the club in a 4-1 loss to West Ham, where he played the first 45 minutes, picking up a yellow card and providing an assist with a header for the only Blackburn goal, before being subsitituted at half-time. A calf injury kept him out of the side for a month following his debut, and he returned to the side in a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough, playing the full game in the centre of midfield. This was his home debut, and he was later named man-of-the-match for his performance.

International career

Grella is a regular member of the Socceroos; he represented the Australian Under-23s at the 2000 Summer Olympics and received his first senior cap in an international friendly against England in 2003, which Australia won 3-1. In November 2005, Grella played in both legs of the World Cup play-off against Uruguay, where Australia qualified for the 2006 World Cup for the first time in 32 years. At the World Cup, Grella's displays in the heart of Australia's midfield saw him named in a preliminary squad for FIFA's team of the tournament, the only Australian to make this list.

On 13 November 2006 Grella was selected as captain for an international friendly in London against Ghana, making him the 51st player to captain the Australia football team. On 21 July 2007 in Hanoimarker, Vietnammarker, Grella was sent off in the 76th minute of Australia's 2007 Asian Cup quarter-final against Japan. Leaping for a header, Grella's forearm connected with Naohiro Takahara's head, who had come from behind Grella, sending the latter to the ground. The game was 1-1 at the time and remained that way until the end of extra time, with Japan eliminating Australia from the tournament in a penalty shoot-out.

Personal life

Grella and his wife, Barbara, have twin daughters, Victoria and Sophia, born in 2002. Grella first met Barbara while she was working in a shoe store in Italy, which Grella frequently visited to buy shoes following their first meeting.


  1. The Brotherhood , The Age, November 18, 2005
  2. Brown, C. Aussie hardman with touch of Italian class, The Independent, 12 Jun 2006
  3. The Four Diegos... World Football Golden Soft Sombrero Moment with Vince Grella, The Four Diegos, accessed 29 October 2008
  4. FIFA Transfer activity gathers pace,, 22 June 2007
  5. Grella signs for Torino F.C. - Official Torino F.C. website
  6. The Age, Socceroo Grella signs for Torino, The Age, 21 June 2007
  7. Goal of the Month: January,, 4 February, 2008
  9. Fulham target Grella Sky Sports News
  10. AAP World Cup's over, now for South Africa,, 30 June 2006.
  11. "Penalty heartbreak for Roos", SBS The World Game website he is Blackburn's new signing [1]
  12. Lynch, M. Grella's soccer dreams come true in Italy,, 13 February 2003.

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