22.01.2015 07:31 h

Royal lineage is Aussie star's crowning glory

Massimo Luongo has reigned supreme at the Asian Cup and the Australian star has outlined a possible reason for his commanding performances -- he's a descendant of Indonesian royalty.

Luongo's Italian name obscures his Indonesian heritage, which is from his mother's side and includes a grandfather who was a sultan in the archipelago country to Australia's north.

The 22-year-old's background is well known to Indonesian fans, who account for a large chunk of the 40,000 Twitter followers tracking his progress at the Asian Cup.

"My granddad was a sultan, so they were royalty before the government took over in Indonesia," Luongo told News Ltd ahead of Thursday's quarter-final with China.

"There is an emotional attachment to Indonesia. I've never been there but I would love to visit."

According to the report, Luongo's late grandfather was the sultan of Bima and Dompu and based on Sumbawa island, which is still owned by the player's relatives.

He said Indonesian fans "went nuts" when his lineage was revealed after he signed for English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in 2011.

"When I first signed with Tottenham it came out that I had Indonesian heritage and it went nuts from there," he said.

"My family is quite spread out, but I've got uncles, aunties and cousins in Jakarta.

"They all still support me and they contact mum through Facebook, that's how they stay in touch. She passes on all the messages and everyone's quite happy for me."

Luongo has been Australia's break-out star at the Asian Cup, scoring his first goal for the Socceroos and being named man of the match in the 4-1 win over Kuwait.

Now with England's third-tier Swindon Town, speculation is swirling over a move to a bigger club after he proved equally influential in the hosts' other group games.

"He's much better than where he is now, he's in League One and I don't think that style suits him," veteran Socceroos midfielder Mark Bresciano was quoted as saying.

"But it doesn't mean he has to leave the country, I think he could go on and do well in the Premier League."

Indonesia did not qualify for the Asian Cup, but the competition will expand from 16 teams to 24 in 2019, raising the possibility of Luongo playing against his mother's country.

By that time Luongo could have gone from prince to king of Australian football -- with Indonesian fans following his every move.