Barbarouses' bar set high by Rojas

The latest New Zealander to arrive at AAMI Park must deal with some sky-high expectations after the standards set by his countryman and predecessor last term

Kosta Barbarouses has attempted to play down the inevitable comparisons with Marco Rojas after succeeding the 'Kiwi Messi' at Melbourne Victory.

Rojas earned rave reviews for Victory last season, leading to parallels being drawn between the diminutive New Zealand international and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

Bundesliga club Stuttgart swooped to secure Rojas' services in May, leaving Victory with a void to fill in the final third.

Head coach Ange Postecoglou has responded by rescuing Barbarouses - who played under him during Brisbane Roar's A-League championship-winning season in 2010/11 - from an unhappy spell at Russian outfit FC Alania.

And the new signing was not surprised to be likened to his All Whites team-mate.

"We're different sorts of players," he said.

"Obviously similar to some degree but I think I bring different sort of aspects to the game. But Ange has everyone playing the same sort of football, so in the grand scheme of things it will be sort of similar I guess."

Postecoglou knows what to expect from his former charge, and tipped him to bring a new element to Victory's forward line.

"[They're] different types of players, both real threatening in the front third, which is great for us [after] losing Marco, who was a real threat," he said.

"Kosta is the same, certainly he can score goals. I know he can play the type of football we like to play. Recruitment can be a bit of guessing game but there's some certainty about this one.

"He's probably a little bit more robust than Marco was, so he won't be afraid to play in tight areas, whereas with Marco we tended to try and get him into space as much as possible."

Barbarouses could make his competitive debut for Victory in the derby against Melbourne Heart on October 12, while former club Brisbane Roar are due to visit two weeks later.

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