Ranked: The top five Aussies to never play in the A-League Men

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Unsurprisingly, as the A-League Men grows and improves, it sees a higher percentage of future international representatives come through its ranks.

And, such is the sunny summer nature of the A-League Men season, it also lends itself to a happy homecoming for some of Australia’s finest players. Tim Cahill, Harry Kewell, Lucas Neill, Brett Emerton. A return Down Under for a swansong in front of their family and friends, the Aussie fans, and the biggest sauce bottles in professional football, who could blame them?

However, a select few of the Socceroos’ finest have enjoyed a career that avoided both of those. Featuring goalkeeping royalty, Australia’s highest Premier League goal scorer, and a suspicious amount of Marks, here are five of the very best to never do it.

Players whose careers ended before the inception of the A-League Men have not been included.

5. Massimo Luongo

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Debuting for Australia in 2014, it took Luongo just one year to establish himself as a vital cog in the Socceroos machine.

A dream performance in Australia’s AFC Asian Cup triumph of 2015 saw him take out the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award, a spot in the Team of the Tournament, and eventually finish third place in the AFC Asian International Player of the Year award. A year of impressive international honours yet to be bettered in the six years since its occurrence.

Luongo has spent the larger parts of his career in the EFL Championship with Queens Park Rangers. An appalling run of injuries from which the Sydneysider is yet to fully escape brought about an abrupt disappearance from international football. He is currently working his way back to both fitness and form with League One side Sheffield Wednesday.

4. Scott Chipperfield

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Debuting for Australia during the 1998 Oceania Nations Cup, Chipperfield would go on to establish himself as an Aussie footballing legend for more than just his ability on the pitch.

His admirable show of loyalty to pay his own way to New Zealand to represent Australia in the 2002 OFC Nations Cup punched a soft spot into Australian football fans’ minds, who’d love him even if he didn’t proceed to play for Australia for the next eight years.

Chipperfield enjoyed a fruitful career in Switzerland with FC Basel from 2001-2012. He is their most successful player ever in terms of team silverware, with seven league titles and six domestic cups won during his time there. He was inducted into the FFA Hall of Fame in 2012.

3. Mark Bresciano

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Bresciano’s first piece of international silverware came with the OFC Nations Cup in 2004, which, with his next triumph in the AFC Asian Cup 2015, sandwiches his inclusion in the 2006, 2010, and 2014 FIFA World Cups. He would join the FFA Hall of Fame in 2018.

An ever present in Australia’s international football scene, he spent 13 of his 21 years as a professional footballer in Italy with Empoli, Parma, Palermo and Lazio.

At the age of 31, Bresciano travelled to the Middle East to carry out the latter stages of his career with Al Nasr and Al-Gharafa. A lengthy and well-travelled football career, if only he’d kept a diary…

2. Mark Viduka

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Whilst his greatest accomplishments may not have come in a Socceroos shirt, Viduka cannot be overlooked as one of the finest Australians to play the game.

Racking up 240 appearances in the Premier League with Leeds United, Middlesbrough, and Newcastle United (<3), whilst scoring 92 goals, the striker is Australia’s greatest ever Premier League goal scorer. Harry Kewell directly trails him with 57, followed by Tim Cahill with 56. Viduka is also the highest scoring Australian in UEFA Champions League history, albeit with only four goals.

Viduka wore the captain’s armband at the 2006 World Cup finals, leading Australia to what remains their greatest World Cup finish in the round of 16.

Finishing his career with the Magpies at the age of 34, Viduka would be inducted into the FFA Hall of Fame five years later in 2014, and into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2021.

1. Mark Schwarzer

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Schwarzer’s story can be told in records and accolades. He has the most Australian caps and clean sheets in the longest Australian international career of all time, retiring in 2013 after 11 years with the national team.

First representing Australia before he’d left Marconi Stallions, Schwarzer’s 1997 move to Middlesbrough would transform his career. He would retire with 514 Premier League appearances across Middlesbrough, Fulham, Chelsea, and Leicester City.

With three various footballer of the year awards in his trophy cabinet and an Order of Australia Medal around his neck, the legendary goalkeeper claims his first-place position with both hands, and is the greatest Australian footballer to never play in the A-League Men.

Feature Image Credit: Socceroos 

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Tom Macraehttp://medium.com/@macraetomr23
Communications undergrad at Western Sydney University covering Macarthur FC in the 2021/22 season. Newcastle United. Jack Grealish fangirl.

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