Socceroos: What's Next?
Now that the dust has settled following the Socceroos' disappointing exit from the 2018 World Cup, the players will now turn to focus on what the future has in store for them.
From European contracts to a chance to focus on refining their brand, we take a look at what is next for the 2018 Socceroo team.
The new era of Australian soccer stars
No one can deny that Daniel Arzani was the breakout star from the Australian team, as the youngest Australian to compete in the World Cup. Flagged as the next big thing to happen to Australian football, this 19-year-old Melbourne gun has proven himself on the field and has forced European clubs to pay attention.
The 27-year-old was viewed as one of Australia’s best players during the World Cup campaign. This strong performance has seen the English Premier League clubs pay attention with Manchester considering activating their £20m buy-back clause. Manchester wasn't the only club paying attention to Mooy as Everton and Southampton were rumoured to have eyes on him earlier in the tournament. By the time the 2022 World Cup rolls around Mooy will be a key player with a lot of experience under his belt.
In his first World Cup, 27-year-old Aziz Behich was rated one of Australia's best against Denmark. Although he found things tougher against Peru, Behich remains an exciting prospect in Australian football and is set to be a key part in the rebuild of the team in the next few years. Aziz Behich on PickStar.
The 26-year old defender is in the eye of European clubs after his impressive against France. Sainsbury has been touted as a future Socceroos captain, which was strengthened after strong performances in all three games. Sainsbury is contracted for the next six months to the Chinese side Jiangsu Suning, but is reportedly keen to find a club to settle at after the World Cup with many big name clubs keen to oblige.
The young 24-year-old was called into the Socceroos as a precaution after an injury put Tomi Juric’s World Cup in question. Although the young Australian international player was controversially kept on the bench during the campaign, he is still regarded as a strong striker and many say his presence would have given the team an edge. Maclaren is hoping to gain more international experience, currently listed with German side Darmstadt 98 but is setting his sights on the Scottish league. Jamie MacLaren on PickStar.
Who else should we watch out for?
The Socceroos have been labelled an ageing squad so in order to change this they are going to have to bring young players through. Looking at the young talent in the A-League and international leagues, there is great hope for the future.
T21-year old Alex Gersbach, currently at the Norwegian club Rosenborg BK and Riley McGree, the 19-year old at Melbourne City are just some examples of these strong younger players
And finally, what could be next for Tim Cahill?
After his appearance in his fourth World Cup, the future for Cahill is looking uncertain. Cahill is regarded as a hero in the squad and Phil Neville believes this may make him a great Socceroos team manager in the near future. In the meantime, Cahill has own projects to focus on.
Cahill is one of Australia's top athlete brands and one of our most internationally recognised sportspeople. With his fashion line Cahill+ on hold, he still has a number of business interests and recently joined Samsung as an ambassador. Cahill has also recently released his own children’s book titled ‘Where’s Timmy?’ We are sure that Cahill will continue to attract big brand names, media and business opportunities even after retirement.
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