With the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia right around the corner and the Socceroos opening match of Group C against France fast approaching, we take a look at the memorable moments of past and present footballers that have represented both Melbourne City FC and the Australian national team.
Following a distinguished career which started off at Springvale City in 1995, Vince Grella spent most of his time playing football in Italy before moving to Blackburn Rovers and eventually retiring at Melbourne Heart in 2013.
Throughout his footballing journey, Grella became an integral part of the Socceroos midfield through his defensive role and his level of consistency, which saw him make 46 appearances and attend both the 2006 and 2010 World Cup.
Grella’s performance in the heart of Australia’s midfield in both legs of their World Cup play-off against Uruguay is hard to beat. It was a history-making moment for the Socceroos, and alongside his teammates, the ever-reliable midfielder led the way on the pitch. His performances at the 2006 World Cup also drew considerable praise.
Before signing with Melbourne Heart in 2013, Harry Kewell became arguably one of Australia’s greatest footballers through his highly illustrious career that included time at powerhouses Liverpool FC, Leeds United and Galatasaray.
The star-attacker made 56 appearances for the Socceroos, where he netted 17 goals and featured in his nation’s 2006 and 2010 World Cup campaigns.
Despite scoring several goals in the Socceroos 2010 World Cup qualification phase, and notching a goal in a man-of-the-match performance in the Socceroos 2-2 draw with Croatia at the 2006 World Cup, Kewell’s most memorable performance came in the Socceroos qualifying win over Uruguay in 2005.
After failing to start the match, Tony Popovic made way for Kewell in the 27th minute, which proved to be a decisive moment. Kewell changed the dynamic of the match, setting up Mark Bresciano’s equaliser before dispatching his penalty in the shootout.
Tim Cahill has always performed for his country, he thrives under the pressure that comes with international duty and that’s what has seen him become the Socceroos all-time leading goal scorer. Cahill has registered over 100 caps for his nation and has scored in three World Cups – those being 2006, 2010 and 2014. Cahill will be looking to extend his record to scoring at four World Cups, and net over 50 international goals, when he commences the 2018 tournament with the Socceroos in Russia.
Cahill has scored many important goals for the Socceroos throughout his career – mostly with his head – but the most memorable moment of them all came at the 2014 FIFA World Cup against Holland. It was a volley that has been widely regarded as one of the greatest goals to be scored at a World Cup – a simply sublime strike against world-class opposition.
Former Melbourne Heart striker and then Head Coach, John Aloisi, made 55 appearances for the Socceroos and netted 27 goals in a brilliant international career.
Without question, John Aloisi’s most memorable moment in the green and gold was his match-winning and history-making penalty in the 2006 FIFA World Cup play-offs against Uruguay in 2005. Under the pressure and anticipation of a whole nation, Aloisi dispatched the winning penalty with composure and class – a moment that will forever continue to give you goosebumps.
Josip Skoko made his Socceroos debut in 1997, where he went on to make 51 appearances and score nine goals in an international career that spanned 10 years. Skoko was a second-half substitute in the Socceroos famous play-off win against Uruguay, before making the 2006 World Cup squad.
Despite not coming at a World Cup, it’s hard to go past Skoko’s cracking half volley from 25 yards at the MCG against Greece in 2006, which was fired into the top corner of the net.
Josh Kennedy made 36 international appearances for the Socceroos, which included 17 goals, and featured at the 2006 World Cup under Guus Hiddink.
Josh Kennedy’s most memorable moment in the green and gold came against Iraq in 2013. After replacing Tim Cahill in the 77th minute, Kennedy scored a match-winning header following a delightful cross from Mark Bresciano to send the Socceroos to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Of Melbourne City’s current playing squad, Dario Vidosic, Oliver Bozanic and Eugene Galekovic have all represented the Socceroos. Galekovic has made 8 appearances for the Socceroos and was in the 2014 World Cup squad, although he didn’t feature at the tournament. In 2009, Dario Vidosic featured in the Socceroos World Cup qualifier against Japan before being named in the 23-man squad for the 2010 World Cup – he has made 23 appearances in the green and gold. Alex Wilkinson and Richard Garcia also names to add to the list.
Former City defender Ivan Franjic has made 20 appearances for the Socceroos, which includes appearances at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2015 AFC Asian Cup Final.
Former City duo Aaron Mooy and Aziz Behich are in Russia alongside Daniel Arzani for next week’s 2018 FIFA World Cup , the trio will be looking to make their nation proud as they take on France on Saturday night. At 19-years-old, Daniel Arzani will be the youngest player at the tournament – an incredible feat in itself.