A key member of Australia’s successful showing at the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, Grella remains an important cog in the heart of the midfield. However a severely disrupted two-year spell at Blackburn Rovers has left the 30-year-old struggling for the kind of first-team consistency he enjoyed leading into Germany four years ago. As a result Grella played only seven of Australia’s 14 qualification matches for South Africa 2010.
The blond-haired midfield tyro plays the defensive midfield role to perfection honed after spending the best part of a decade in Italy, mostly in Serie A. His ability to mop up loose balls and halt opposition counter-attacks has long been a feature of Grella’s seven-year tenure in the national team.
Grella's friendship with Socceroos team-mate Mark Bresciano is well known. Grella once describing Bresciano as "more like a brother". Their respective careers have long been intertwined, firstly as teenagers coming through the Australian development system, then in the Australian national league before long stints together at Empoli, and then Parma.
Like a number of players amongst the current squad, Grella is another graduate of Australia’s 2000 Olympics team. Grella finally secured his first Socceroo appearance in the team’s famous win over England in 2003, despite having made his Serie A debut some four years earlier.
His place in the team has not come into question since a key role in the Germany 2006 qualification victory against Uruguay. He has since appeared, not only at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, but also at the 2007 AFC Asian Cup.