Australia

2006-06-01 12:52

Berlin - Thirty-two teams have qualified for the 2006 World Cup finals which take place in Germany from June 9 - July 9.

AUSTRALIA

Honours:

World Cup appearances: 1 (1974)

World Cup best: 1st rd

Oceania champions 3 (1980, 1996, 2000)

Fifa world ranking: 44

Odds: 125/1

Coach: Guus Hiddink

The Dutchman is one of the hottest coaching properties in international football after taking two teams to World Cup semi-finals, successfully steering the Netherlands to the last four at France '98 before guiding South Korea to a memorable fourth-place finish at the 2002 tournament.

He agreed to take the Australia job on a part-time basis alongside his full-time position with PSV Eindhoven, and was feted by fans Down Under after overseeing the Socceroos successful qualification.

Key player: Harry Kewell

Left-sided midfielder who burst onto the scene as part of a youthful Leeds United team in 1996. But flattered to deceive over the next seven seasons and struggled to produce his best form consistently.

Was similarly erratic at Liverpool after signing in 2003, and was even booed from the field after going off injured in the 2005 Champions League final. Has finally started delivering on his rich promise this season.

Squad:

Goalkeepers:

Mark Schwarzer (Middlesbrough/ENG), Zeljko Kalac (AC Milan/ITA), Ante Covic (Hammarby/SWE)

Defenders:

Lucas Neill (Blackburn/ENG), Stan Lazaridis (Birmingham/ENG), Craig Moore (Newcastle/ENG), Tony Popovic (Crystal Palace/ENG), Michael Beauchamp (Central Coast Mariners/AUS), Mark Milligan (Sydney FC/AUS)

Midfielders:

Marco Bresciano (Parme/ITA), Tim Cahill (Everton/ENG), Jason Culina (PSV Eindhoven/NED), Scott Chipperfield (FC Bâle/SUI), Brett Emerton (Blackburn/ENG), Vince Grella (Parme/ITA), Harry Kewell (Liverpool/ENG), Josip Skoko (Wigan/ENG), Luke Wilkshire (Bristol/ENG/D2).

Forwards:

John Aloisi (Alaves/ESP), Josh Kennedy (Dynamo Dresde/GER/D2), Mile Sterjovski (FC Basel/SUI), Archie Thompson (PSV Eindhoven/NED), Mark Viduka (Middlesbrough/ENG)

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