In yet another episode of our “Team Talks” for Group C of the FIFA World Cup 2018, we continue with the defending Asian Champions, Australia.
Team : AUSTRALIA
Coach: Bert van Marwijk
Captain: Mile Jedinak
Last Qualified in: 2014
Result in 2014: Eliminated in the Group Stages (30th overall)
Qualified as: CONCACAF v AFC play-off winners (15 November 2017)
Previous World Cup Appearances: (4 Times) 1974, 2006, 2010, 2014.
Best World Cup Finals Result: Round of 16 in 2006.
Brad Jones, Mat Ryan, Danny Vukovic; Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Matthew Jurman, Fran Karacic, James Meredith, Josh Risdon, Trent Sainsbury; Josh Brillante, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, Robbie Kruse, Massimo Luongo, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic, James Troisi; Daniel Arzani, Tim Cahill, Tomi Juric, Mathew Leckie, Andrew Nabbout, Dimitri Petratos, Nikita Rukavytsya.
1) Massimo Luongo:
The 25-year old QPR midfielder is one of the most promising facilitators of the game in the modern day. The Sydney born player was long-listed for the 2015 Ballon d’ Or. He is likely to be at the heart of the midfield for Bert van Marwijk’s side.
2) Mile Jedinak:
The Aussie skipper is their most experienced midfield player with 75 caps to his name. The 33-year old was an indispensable part of a very good Crystal Palace side between 2011-16, making 165 appearances for the London club. After narrowly missing out on Premier League promotion this season with Aston Villa in the play-off finals, Jedinak will be raring to make up for that with his national team in Russia. With 18 goals to his name, he is also the second highest scorer in the current squad, and 10th in all time list.
3) Tom Rogic:
The Celtic midfielder had some tremendous success at Celtic Park under Brendan Rodgers. The man who extended his stay at Celtic Park for 5 more seasons, has an eye for the goal and a knack for the spectacular (like his winning goal against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the World Cup Qualifiers). After a good performance in the 2017 Confederations Cup, Rogic can easily be a top performer for the Aussies in Russia.
4) Tim Cahill:
The former Everton striker is the highest scorer in history for the Socceroos with 50 goals. The man, regarded by many as the best ever Australian footballer, is just 4 short of Mark Schwarzer’s all time top caps record of 109. The 38-year old is still a credible threat up front and on his day can be a nightmare to any defence when he travels to Russia for his 4th successive World Cup finals appearance.
Photo by Nasya Bahfen