Midfielder Mile Jedinak has been named Australia skipper for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ following the omission of Lucas Neill from Ange Postecoglou’s squad.
Captain of English Premier League side Crystal Palace over the past two seasons the 29-year-old follows Peter Wilson (1974), Mark Viduka (2006) and Lucas Neill (2010) as Australians who have captained the Socceroos at the world’s biggest football tournament
“It is a privileged position and an accolade he richly deserves after the incredible job he has done at Crystal Palace in the toughest club competition in world football – the English Premier League,” said Postecoglou.
“Mile Jedinak embodies everything that is great about Australian football and Australia as a nation. He has risen to the top of world football and done it the hard way from humble beginnings where he has battled and believed in himself to overcome the odds with an enormous work ethic and passion for what he does.
“I have no doubt he will lead the team with distinction in Brazil and we will have two of our greatest ever football players in Tim Cahill and Mark Bresciano giving the team what I believe is strong leadership.
“Mile will be our captain but all three players will share the onus of leading this group to the World Cup where we will be representing the people of Australia with enormous pride and drive. We are going to Brazil to do all 23 million Australians proud.”
Jedinak was honoured to be named Socceroo captain for Brazil 2014 after leading Australia for the first time in the international friendly against Ecuador in London in March.
“To be handed the responsibility of captaining my country at the World Cup is humbling, yet incredibly exciting,” Jedinak said. “Just pulling the Socceroo shirt on fills me with pride but to be leading out my country and these players at the World Cup on behalf of all Australians is special.
“It is an honour to be named captain but it is also a huge responsibility and I look forward to providing leadership for the team along with Tim (Cahill) and Mark (Bresciano) as we take on some of the biggest nations in world football.”
Australia will face South Africa next Monday in Sydney in their final match before departing for Brazil, where they have grouped alongside Chile, Netherlands and Spain.