Socceroos Million Dollar Flight Pays Off
The Socceroos have qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and a $1 million luxury flight helped get them there.
After a scoreless draw against Honduras the Socceroos went all out on their lavish return flight to Australia to ensure they would be in peak physical condition for the all important return leg in Sydney, which would decide their 2018 World Cup fate.
The Qantas Airbus A330 usually seats around 300 people but for this special trip it carried just 50.
The charter flight from San Pedro Sula to Sydney was decked out with all the trimmings for a post match recovery, with the Socceroos staff taking over everything on board except the flight deck!
Socceroos Head of Sports Science Dr Craig Duncan set the temperature, meal times and suggested sleep patterns to maximise the team's recovery before they play off for a spot in the World Cup.
At the front of the plane the players were seated in Business Class, and took the opportunity to relax with movies and music.
The middle of the plane was all business, where football staff got to work on their analysis, pulling out laptops and analysing highlights ahead of the home leg.
And at the back, the fitness team set up their makeshift treatment room, dispensing massages and treating the players for injuries.
Players were also equipped with glowing green anti-fatigue glasses, which shines lights into the eyes of the wearer, helping to fight jet lag and give players an advantage in resetting their body clocks.
The lavish flight cost about $250,000 more than their typical commercial flight, and around $1 million in total, before any sponsorship discounts.
But it turned out to be money well spent. The Socceroos smashed Honduras 3-1 in Sydney, qualifying for the 2018 World Cup and claiming $15 million in prize money.
A smart bet by Football Federation Australia!
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Images via Socceroos/FFA