FIFA World Cup™ finals history
Australia’s best showing in their four FIFA World Cups™ was a Round of 16 appearance at Germany 2006. There they were eliminated following a contentious last-minute penalty by eventual champions Italy. At South Africa 2010, the Socceroos collected the same amount of points in the group stage as four years earlier only to this time exit on goal difference. Australia’s all-amateur 1974 side picked up a point against Chile, while the Socceroos went home from Brazil 2014 with three defeats, although the talismanic Tim Cahill managed to join a small group of players to score at three World Cups with his volley against the Netherlands shortlisted for the FIFA Puskas Award.

The team
Australia have undergone a massive reinvention in terms of playing personnel, mentality and style since Ange Postecoglou assumed the reins in late 2013. By Brazil 2014 many of the older players were off the scene, replaced largely by young and inexperienced new faces. The team made their mark in historic fashion by winning the AFC Asian Cup in January 2015 on home soil where names such as Massimo Luongo, Mathew Leckie, Mat Ryan and Trent Sainsbury came of age.

The coach
Ange Postecoglou has played a significant role in redefining Australian football. After seven years as coach of Australia’s two national youth teams, Melbourne-raised Postecoglou proved hugely successful in Australia’s A-League at Brisbane Roar. An unwavering belief in a proactive high-tempo passing game paid dividends with consecutive A-League championships and, after a slow start, the Socceroos found their feet culminating in their maiden Asian success.

The stat
– The number of years between Australia’s first and second World Cup appearances in 1974 and 2006.

The former stars
Johnny Warren, Mark Viduka, Harry Kewell, Mark Schwarzer