The Australian national football team is a regular fixture at World Cups. They are the biggest football power in Oceania and usually sweep the qualifying rounds. They have also won the OFC Nations Cup, the continent’s equivalent of the European Championship.
Australia is a growing world power, both at national team level and in domestic competitions. Its young players are also finding a home in leading countries such as Spain, where they are trying to reach the world’s elite. This is Australian football and its national team.
Australia national football team
Australia’s national football team has had its ups and downs. From its zenith, with three consecutive Oceania championships; to its ceding of the continental throne to New Zealand, the other great Oceania football power. History is littered with legendary Australian players.
In this article we take a look back at Australia’s greatest football milestones, its best players, greatest records and the future that lies ahead. A look at the best players from a country that is growing by leaps and bounds in the beautiful game.
Australian national football team achievements
At the world level, Australia has achieved many world championship qualifications. However, its greatest success has been in the OFC Nations Cup, where it reigns supreme alongside New Zealand. They have participated in six of the seven editions, missing out in the first (1973).
Australia have been champions four times (1980, 1996, 2000 and 2004) and runners-up on the other two occasions (1998 and 2002). Given the low standard of this competition, they have been playing in the Asia Cup since 2006, winning the Asian Cup for the first time in 2015. They also finished runners-up in 2011.
The Australian national football team’s strong performance at continental level has seen them compete in several editions of the Confederations Cup. Their best finish was a runner-up finish in 1997, losing 6-0 to Brazil in the final.
Australia at the World Cups
Australia is a World Cup classic. In their classic yellow and green kit, they light up the pitch and always bring something special with them. Even so, their World Cup history is short-lived: their late inception saw them play their first qualifiers in 1966.
After playing in the World Cup for the first time in Germany 1974, they suffered a break until Germany 2006. They have not missed their date since that World Cup, although only in 2006 were they able to advance to the Round of 16.
Australia’s best players
The best level of the Australian national football team has been achieved in recent years. Good youth development work is complemented by the apprenticeship of Australia’s best players at international football academies in leading countries. This is how the talented players have arrived.
The legendary Tim Cahill
Tim Cahill can undoubtedly be considered the greatest Australian footballer of all time. The striker spent much of his career in England, although his reputation was earned with the national team. He scored Australia’s first World Cup goal and belongs to the club of players who have scored in three consecutive World Cups.
Cahill is Australia’s top scorer with 50 goals. He is also second in the ranking of most capped players (108 appearances). After retiring in 2019, he was just one game behind Mark Schwarzer.
The current Australian national football team has some very good players. Real Sociedad goalkeeper Matthew Ryan, Hertha Berlin striker Mathew Leckie and Hull City midfielder Jackson Irvine.
Many of them left for countries such as Spain, Germany and England in search of professional opportunities. The arrival of young Australian players to international academies in Spain is a reality. SIA Academy has several players from Australia who travelled to prove their talent and turn professional.
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