Marco Tilio is a 21-year-old winger who plays for Melbourne City in the A-League. Tilio is a graduate of Sydney FC’s academy but has played most of his professional career with Melbourne City. Tilio has always been a talented player but a change in manager at Melbourne City has really kicked things up a gear this season. Tilio has played five times for Australia. He made their 2022 World Cup squad but did not play any minutes. He was also part of Australia’s Olympic squad in Tokyo.
Tilio is a small but extremely technically gifted player. His first touch and dribbling ability are levels above most other A-League players. His main strength is his ability to cut inside from the right onto his left foot and use his dribbling ability to create shots. Tilio played on the left more frequently under Patrick Kisnorbo but his move to the right has seemed to have a very positive effect. He is quite quick which allows him to dribble from deeper areas of the field as well. However, he is very left-footed which can limit him slightly. It’s not like he has no ability with his right foot but he is definitely much more effective cutting inside than he is going to the outside of a defender. This probably goes a long way toward explaining why he has been so much more effective on the left. In the past Tilio has not shown a ton of playmaking ability. But lately, his xA (not to mention actual assists) seems to have taken a significant uptick since Rado Vidosic took over for Kisnorbo. Again, I think the change in sides has played a part in this. Tilio is just way more dynamic cutting inside. Now, in addition to crosses and cutbacks (which he can still pull off thanks to his dribbling), he can play more through balls when cutting inside. Tilio is not necessarily a distinguished defensive player but he does play his role adequately in City’s high-pressing system.
It seems inevitable that Tilio will get a move to a higher level sooner rather than later. I think his weak right foot might limit him at the very highest level of football but he would be a strong addition to teams in the next tier down from the big five. Particularly on a team that can play him as an inside forward on the right. Right now he plays off of Jamie Maclaren, a fantastic goal scorer but whose build-up play is quite limited. I think if he played in a system with a striker that can do more to set him up he could really thrive.