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Berisha turning page on A-League record

AAP logoAAP 3/01/2017 Ben McKay

Besart Berisha isn't hiding his pride at becoming the A-League's record goalscorer, but he's happy to move on from the hoopla that's surrounded his ascension to the throne.

The Albanian took sole ownership of the all-time record on Monday night by converting a penalty against Newcastle Jets for his 91st A-League goal.

His mighty tally has been built over six seasons - three with Brisbane Roar and three with Melbourne Victory.

Ever since a hat-trick against Western Sydney last month that brought him to 89 goals, the 31-year-old has sweated over the record; which was pointed out to him at every opportunity.

A winner in the Melbourne derby a fortnight ago drew Berisha level with ex-Victory teammate Archie Thompson's tally of 90 goals.

The record had to wait another week when his first-half effort against Cental Coast Mariners was judged as an own goal.

After the 31-year-old finally seized the record against the Jets, he said the feeling was mostly relief.

"It feels good but to be honest I'm happy it's finished now," he said.

"I'm glad it's finished. I just want to focus on this season.

"(Journalists) ask and are writing stuff and I read stuff and I notice. It's not easy when you're close to breaking the record and sometimes things don't go your way.

"My focus is now on the team trophies. No more thinking about breaking records, just focused on scoring goals."

Berisha has 10 goals this season and leads the golden boot race alongside Melbourne City goalscoring phenom Bruno Fornaroli.

The return of Shane Smeltz, who has 89 goals, to the league with Wellington Phoenix threatens Berisha's time at the top. But if Berisha continues at his current pace, he will crack 100 A-League goals before this season's finals series.

In any case, Berisha knows his time at the top will be temporary.

"When I came to Australia I didn't think I could come close to (Thompson's tally) and now I've broke the record. Of course I'm proud," he said.

"It's a pleasure to play with Marco (Rojas), Jimmy (Troisi) and Fahid (Ben Khalfallah). The way we combine is unbelievable.

"One player will break it again, that's the way it goes in football."

Berisha lauded Thompson as a "great, great player", saying one of his feats would stand the test of time.

"No one will break his five goals in a grand final. That's impossible."

BESART BERISHA'S A-LEAGUE FEATS

* 3 Championships (2011/12, 2013/14 with Roar, 2014/15 with Victory)

* 2 Premierships (2013/14 with Roar, 2014/15 with Victory)

* 1 FFA Cup (2015 with Victory)

* 4 Grand final goals in three appearances

* 1 Golden Boot (2011/12 with Roar)

* 1 Club Best and Fairest (2011/12 with Roar)

* 91 Goals ... and counting

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