Leo Lacroix claims PFA Player of the Month award for November

Leo Lacroix has been awarded the Austraffic PFA Player of the Month for November, recognising his brilliant performances across the first three matches of the Isuzu UTE A-League Men season.

Lacroix was nominated for the award and voted by his fellow players ahead of Melbourne City’s Andrew Nabbout and Gary Hooper of Wellington Phoenix.

Upon receiving the award, Lacroix told the PFA:

“I’m very happy with this award and the recognition of the players. I am happy to be recognised for the award, but for me, the team’s performance is more important. I try to do my job to help my teammates; good defending, good passing, sacrifice myself to defend for my teammates, and if I can score, I will try to score.

“So I will try now to improve more, to be better and enjoy the league and the club and try to achieve something good this year.”

The 29-year-old has settled into life beautifully in Australia, the sixth country in which he has lived throughout his life.

Growing in Lausanne in Switzerland to a Swiss father and Brazilian mother, Lacroix recalls falling in love with football almost immediately.

“I remember my first jersey of the Brazil national team was with three stars. Two years, three years I started playing in the garden. But with a team I started in Lausanne at eight or nine years old,” he said.

The stars he mentioned are of course the ones that recognise World Cup successes. Brazil now has five stars emblazoned on their jerseys having won in 1994 and 2002, so Lacroix’s exposure came very early, as he was barely two years old when Dunga lifted the trophy at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles.

Living with divorced parents from a very young age, Lacroix continued to grow up around football and alongside his two sisters, Olga and Oana.

After spending three years living in Florence, Italy and six months in Brazil, Lacroix returned to Switzerland in 2009 to begin his footballing journey with Sion.

Fast-forward to now, Lacroix has played and lived in Germany and France, can speak multiple languages and has played in some of the best football competitions across Europe.

Through all of it, though, Lacroix doesn’t have one moment that stands out, but there have been a number of memorable achievements along the way.

“I don’t have only one footballing memory. My first trophy with Sion when we won the cup, unbelievable. Against Basel, we won 3-0. My first game in the Champions League, good moment,” he said.

“My small experience with the national team, training with good players, was very good.”

Lacroix is the first member of his family to enter into professional football, but he hopes he can pave the way for more of his family to do it, hinting his younger brother is showing some potential.

His early dominance in the A-League Men bodes well for John Aloisi’s Western United side. With a career full of great experiences and plenty more to come, the Swiss star will continue to be a key part of the Green and Black this season and hope that there will be more recognition along the way to a successful campaign with the team.