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"Kiwi Messi" Chooses Stuttgart

Though for a time it appeared Marco Rojas' mystery European destination might be Liverpool, in the end the young A-League winger has chosen to head to the Bundesliga.

Scott Barbour

Marco Rojas was being tracked by Liverpool over the winter. Marco Rojas won player of the season for the club Liverpool were set to face in Melbourne for one the two friendlies on their pre-season tour. Marco Rojas had secured a mystery move to a European side to be announced later.

It wasn't certain that move would be to Liverpool, of course, but the English club seemed one of the most likely potential destinations for the 21-year-old New Zealander of Chilean descent (pictured above being beaten with a corner flag). And if he wasn't going to Liverpool, other likely alternatives were thought to include Juventus or one of a handful of Bundesliga sides.

In the end, perhaps that Germany as a boarder destination was mentioned more than any other should have given the game away. In the end, then, Stuttgart is to be Rojas' new home, with the winger switching hemispheres on a free after allowing his contract with Melbourne Victory run down.

The diminutive Rojas, standing only 5'6" and 140 pounds (or 1.68 m and 64 kg), will become the second New Zealand born player to attempt to make a mark in Germany after 15 goals in 27 matches saw him the A-League's standout performer this past season.

Whether Liverpool's interest in the player extended beyond January, when there was some talk of the club paying a nominal fee to tease him away from the Victory before their season had come to a close, is unknown. The A-League club will receive A$200,000 as FIFA-mandated compensation for the player.

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