There are wonderful golden beaches, lots of beach boys (and girls), sunny days, surfers, kangaroos and cricket, of course. Football? If anything, don't call it football. God forbids. Australian have their football and they absolutely love it. Their "footy", as they call it affectionally, is what the world knows as rugby and there are no less than four different football leagues in the continent Well - football codes. Once we have cleared that, we can move on to football. OK – soccer. And the Australian national team is called Socceroos.
The national team began competing in 1922 but it was motley friendly matches against team touring the southern hemisphere. The team qualified for its first ever World Cup tournament only in 1974 in West Germany and exited after a draw and two losses.
It would take another 32 years and for the World Cup to return to Germany before Australia qualified again. By that time, the Australian Football Federation decided that change was necessary in order for the national team to advance and compete on the international level. After years of competing in the Oceania region, the federation applied to, and was approved, of joining Asia in 2005. This happened while changes also occurred in the structure of Australian football, with the establishment of the A-League, which replaced the old National Soccer League.
Prior to 2006 World Cup Germany, Australia named Dutch Guus Hiddink as head coach. During the first match in the group stage, Tim Cahill became the first Australian to score goals in a World Cup tournament, as Australia went on to beat Japan 3-1. Australia then lost to Brazil 0-2 and drew 2-2 with Croatia, which was enough to send them to the knockout stage, where the yellow and green lost 0-1 to champions to be Italy.
then, Australia has qualified to each and every World Cup tournament and
Australians went on to play for a host of European team, mainly in the English
Premier League. Of those players we can name goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer
(Middlesbrough, Fulham, Chelsea and Leicester City, among others), Mark Viduka
(Celtic Glasgow, Leeds United, Middlesbrough and Newcastle United), Harry
Kewell (Leeds United, Liverpool and Turkish Galatasaray) and the ever-lasting
Tim Cahill (Millwall and Everton).
And a little trivia: Australia holds the world record for most goals scored by a single player in one match. During the 2002 World Cup qualifications, the Socceroos beat American Samoa 31-0 while Archie Thompson scored 13 of the goals.
Scharzer is the all-time caps leader, with 109 appearances. Cahill is the all-time goal scorer, with 50 goals in 104 appearances.
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