Harry Kewell named Socceroos’ best ever
Harry Kewell has been named Australia’s greatest ever footballer at a gala ceremony in Sydney. Kewell was awarded the honour following a long-running process involving fans, players and pundits.
The Greatest Ever Australian Footballer awards also named the nation’s greatest players by position and Kewell was joined by several teammates of the Socceroos’ `golden generation’ in the greatest ever Australian team.
Current No.1 Mark Schwarzer was named Australia’s best goalkeeper while captain Lucas Neill, Everton star Tim Cahill and retired defender Craig Moore were also named in the greatest side.
All featured at the last two FIFA World Cup finals while Mark Viduka, who competed at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, was also included.
The late Johnny Warren, striker Ray Baartz, Alan Davidson, Ned Zelic and Joe Marston – the first Australian to compete in an FA Cup final – were also in the team but there were no members that represented the Socceroos prior to 1947.
Kewell is in the UK and was not present to collect the honour in front of many current and former greats but described it as “an incredible honour”.
“I’m humbled by the award and very grateful, especially given that the public have had such a say in the final result and the number of great footballers this country has produced over the years,” the former Leeds, Liverpool, Galatasaray and Melbourne Victory attacker said.
“To be named amongst such great players in the greatest ever Australian team, both past and current, is something I will never forget.”
More than 15,000 public votes were cast during the selection process, while a panel of current and former players, administrators and commentators also helped determine the winner.
Matildas captain Cheryl Salisbury was named Australia’s greatest female player while the greatest coach went to Dutchman Guus Hiddink, who guided the Socceroos to the knockout stage of 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Funds raised by the event were to benefit the Johnny Warren Football Foundation.
© AAP 2013
Greatest ever Australian team (4-3-3): Mark Schwarzer (gk), Lucas Neill, Joe Marston, Craig Moore, Alan Davidson, Johnny Warren, Ned Zelic, Tim Cahill, Ray Baartz, Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka.
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