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Football: 'Kiwi Messi' Rojas scores on Stuttgart debut

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

New signing Marco Rojas, who has been dubbed the "Kiwi Messi" and voted the Australian A-League's player of the year, has scored on his debut for Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart in a pre-season friendly.

The 21-year-old New Zealander left Melbourne Victory on a free transfer in April and has signed a contract with Stuttgart until 2017, having scored 15 goals in the A-League last season.

Having been named in the starting line-up on Wednesday, Rojas put the German Cup finalists 4-0 up just before the half-time break on his first appearance against an invitation team as Stuttgart ran out 5-0 winners.

"That was a nice run out, our finishing was missing and we didn't score enough goals, but all in all it was a nice friendly game," said coach Bruno Labbadia.

Having spent two years at both Wellington Phoenix, then Victory, scoring 17 goals in 72 A-League appearances, Rojas made his debut for New Zealand in March 2011, going on to play 15 times for the All Whites.

Stuttgart play a friendly against Spanish side Valencia on July 20, then open their Bundesliga season at Mainz on Sunday August 11.

ryj/phz

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130711/football-kiwi-messi-rojas-scores-stuttgart-debut