Soccer World Cup 2010

 

Australia : Soccer World Cup 2010

Australia's football association is known as the Football Federation of Australia (FFA). The top domestic competition is known as the A-League. There are some 1.2 million registered players (2006).

Nickname

The nickname of the national team is the "Socceroos". The beautiful game is called "soccer" in Australia to distinguish it from Australian rules football, rugby league and rugby union.

Squad

Only five of the Australian players participating in the Soccer World Cup 2006 were aged 25 or younger; meaning that the Socceroos didn't have to undergo a major rebuilding exercise up to Soccer World Cup 2010.

Goalkeepers: Mark Schwarzer (Fulham), Adam Federici (Reading), Brad Jones (Middlesbrough)

Defenders: Lucas Neill (Galatasaray), Craig Moore (unattached), Scott Chipperfield (Basel), David Carney (Twente Enschede), Luke Wilkshire (Dynamo Moscow), Mark Milligan (JEF United), Michael Beauchamp (Al-Jazira)

Midfielders: Tim Cahill (Everton), Mark Bresciano (Palermo) Vince Grella (Blackburn), Brett Emerton (Blackburn), Jason Culina (Gold Coast), Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar), Carl Valeri (Sassuolo), Mile Jedinak (Antalyaspor), Richard Garcia (Hulll), Dario Vidosic (Nuremberg)

Forwards: Josh Kennedy (Nagoya), Nikita Rukavytsya (Twente Enschede), Harry Kewell (Galatasaray)

Asian Football Confederation

Australia joined the Asian Football Confederation in 2005, after frustrating attempts at getting a direct route to the World Cup through Oceania (ironically, they qualified through Oceania for the Soccer World Cup 2006).

Qualifying for Soccer World Cup 2010

Asian Football Confederation seedings are largely based on previous Soccer World Cup performances. Because Australia beat Japan in Soccer World Cup 2006 (in Kaiserslautern), a fellow Asian nation, the Socceroos have moved from being an unranked team to gaining a first or second-tier ranking (they also finished Soccer World Cup 2006 in a better position than Iran and Saudi Arabia). This change meant Australia avoided regional heavyweights such as Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Iran in the group phase of the 2010 qualifiers, contributing substantially to their reaching Soccer World Cup 2010.

Soccer World Cup track record

2010

Qualified for Fifa World Cup 2010.

2006

By beating Uruguay in the Oceania play-offs, Australia qualified for the Soccer World Cup 2006 finals.

The Soccer World Cup 2006 in Germany was the first Soccer World Cup finals Australia took part in since 1974, and also produced their first Soccer World Cup win since 1974, coming from behind and beating Japan 3-1, and then lost 2-0 to Brazil. Guus Hiddink coached Australia in 2006 (but is moving to coach Russia after the Soccer World Cup 2006). The Socceroos clawed back a 2-2 draw against Croatia that sent them into the Cup's 2nd round for the first time ever.

Playing Italy in the second round, a controversial penalty awarded to the Italians in the last minute of stoppage time ended the Australians' hopes of making the quarterfinals. This is the last time the Socceroos are representing the Pacific Oceania region.

2002

Australia failed to qualify for the Soccer World Cup 1986. In a qualification match against American Samoa, Australia broke the record for the biggest victory in a World Cup match with its 31-0 win. They lost the Oceania play-offs against Uruguay.

1998

Australia failed to qualify for the Soccer World Cup 1986. They lost the Oceania play-offs against Iran (it remains the only campaign in which a side did not lose a single match but still failed to qualify for the Soccer World Cup finals).

1994

Australia failed to qualify for the Soccer World Cup 1986. There were two Oceania play-off matches (they won against Canada but lost against Argentina).

1990

Australia failed to qualify for the Soccer World Cup 1986, or even the Oceania play-off (they lost 0-1 to Fiji in a qualification match).

1986

Australia failed to qualify for the Soccer World Cup 1986, after losing to Scotland in the Oceania play-off for a place (0-2 away and 0-0 at home).

1974

Australia qualified for the Soccer World Cup 1974, but failed to score a single goal and were eliminated in the first round. Australia lost 0-2 to East Germany and then 0-3 to West Germany, but salvaged a 0-0 draw with Chile in the final game.

Australia played in their first official international match on 17 June 1922, against New Zealand in Dunedin, and lost 1-3. Bill Maunder scored the first ever official goal for Australia. In 1923 Australia enjoyed their first international win in a match against New Zealand, who had come to Australia for another 3-match series.

Australian Quotes

Lucas Neill
Oct 2006

"I want to help Australia qualify for the next World Cup – as the captain, if possible." Lucas Neill

29 Sep 2006

I'd be stupid to say I'll definitely be at the 2010 World Cup because you never know what might happen," he says. "But at the moment, I feel physically up for it, and I'd love to play on as long as possible. I've still got a few goals to achieve. Not only personal goals but team goals as well. To be honest, I just love playing for the national team. The best experience I've had as a footballer was the World Cup. It's given me that new lease of life, really. If you'd have asked me two or three years ago if I'd still be around now, I wouldn't have been 100 per cent sure. But since the World Cup, I've been enjoying my football more than ever - I'm even enjoying training!...As a striker you always feel you should be playing, but you just have to do your best and try and help the team when you do come on. Mark's a great player, he's had a great career, so I've got no complaints that he's had to play before me. He's a good friend and I hope he stays on because we could do a lot of damage together."

John O'Neill
26 July 2006

"Punching above our weight is a national obsession, so designing and developing - or aligning - systems, expertise and infrastructure in Australia that can consistently identify and develop very competitive international players is a priority for us now," Australian football chief John O'Neill told the National Press Club in Canberra.

Fiji Times
2 July 2006

"No longer is Australian football considered a back water and with over 100 players plying their trade with overseas clubs, Australian players are now very highly regarded around the world." extract from story in the Fiji Times

Guus Hiddink
June 2006

"You have to analyse this World Cup and also look ahead to the future and look at the players and what ages they are," said Hiddink. "Maybe they have to step back a bit and start building not a totally new team, but consider whether some of the players will be there at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. In the coming years the FFA have to consider that and talk to the players. If they still want to have a new era, then they can't wait for six months or a year. They must make a new project through to 2010, via the Olympic Games in 2008" Guus Hiddink

Mark Schwarzer
June 2006

"Hopefully we’ll be back at the World Cup and I’m definitely aiming at still being around. My goal is to be there with Australia in 2010.” Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer vowing to be back for Soccer World Cup 2010 (Mark will turn 39 in October 2010).

Broadcasting

SBS, the public broadcaster, won the rights to screen the Soccer World Cup 2010 and Soccer World Cup 2014; granting SBS the exclusive free-to-air and pay TV rights, as well as broadband internet rights for both tournaments.

Links

Asian Football Confederation

Football Federation of Australia

Football Federation South Australia

Oz Football

Wikipedia

References

7 Oct 2006

Neill to lead the way

29 Sept 2006

Aloisi looking to a striking future - but not in Adelaide

26 July 2006

Future Socceroos to come via 'system'

8 July 2006

Public TV rates its socks off

We welcome input to help us improve our coverage of Australia's build-up to the Soccer World Cup 2010


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