Paraguay to be swansong for several players
The Socceroos Powerade Cup match against Paraguay on Saturday October 7 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, will mark the end of an era, with possibly up to five players set to call a day on their international careers for Australia.
The Socceroos Powerade Cup match against Paraguay on Saturday October 7 at Suncorp Stadium, will mark the end of an era, with possibly up to five players set to call a day on their international careers for Australia.
While Qantas Socceroo coach Graham Arnold would not confirm names, believing, quite rightly, it-s not his job to announce the players names, he did suggest that a few and as many as five could make this match their swansong in the green and gold.
One he did confirm that was not among those not retiring was World Cup captain Mark Viduka, who along with the injured Harry Kewell, were the only players from the Germany 2006 World Cup squad, not named among those returning to Australia for the week. Viduka will be his wife, who is due to give birth anytime soon.
“I spoke to Mark this morning,” Arnold told the press. “He-s 100 per cent committed to going through to the Asian Cup at least," Arnold said.
Of those retiring, only one player Perth Glory-s Stan Lazaridis has openly stated his intention to retire, saying prior to the Kuwait Asian Cup qualifier last month that it would probably be his final game. However he missed that match because of illness and is set to play against Paraguay.
Central Coast Mariners Tony Vidmar is also set for an emotional recall after missing the World Cup because of a heart condition, picked up only a month out from the finals and threatened to end his career.
Arnold will assurances from those players who wanted to retire to let him know ahead of the squad coming together, with plans then to be made to send them off in style.
“It-s not my place to say who has retired, but I do know who they are,” he said. “For the first time, I want to give a farewell game to those who are retiring and to draw a line in the stand to avoid any confusion on who has retired and who is going forward.
"Whilst the players retiring will be starting the game against Paraguay, they will be taken off the field during the game, although I don-t know how long that will be. They will all be given the opportunity to thank supporters and get the recognition they deserve.
“Everyone else that has said they are not retiring has given me a commitment to continue playing through to the Asian Cup at least.
While he acknowledges that the match against Paraguay will be a bit of a circus in the first couple of days, come Friday it will be all about the game and hopefully sending the retirees out on a high note.
“I want the retirees to go out in a good fashion, with a good positive result and something to remember for the rest of their lives.”