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Kosta Barbarouses stays with Wellington Phoenix, aiming for 2026 World Cup

Kosta Barbarouses news

Seasoned All Whites striker Kosta Barbarouses, the fourth-highest goal scorer in A-League history, has decided to remain with the Wellington Phoenix for next season, turning down offers from other clubs.

The decision comes after Barbarouses’ significant contribution to the Phoenix’s best season, where he netted 13 goals and helped the team reach the semi-finals. Expressing his satisfaction with the past season and his belief in the club’s potential, the 34-year-old forward told media of his ambition to play a crucial role in the Phoenix’s future successes and his personal goal to compete in the 2026 World Cup.

Phoenix head coach Giancarlo Italiano praised Barbarouses for his on-field performance and off-field leadership, highlighting his influence in the changing room and his exemplary professional behavior.

Italiano dismissed concerns about the striker’s age, noting Barbarouses’ superior performance compared to younger players and his physical and mental fitness.

With Barbarouses committed for another year, and potentially more, the Phoenix aims to build on their recent success, with 18 players already contracted for the 2024-25 season and ongoing discussions with other players.

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