Baby-faced and slimly-built Robbie Kruse may seem one of the younger squad members, but the pacey and fast-footed wide attacker is one of Australia’s most experienced players, now in his eighth year as a senior international. Having missed out on the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ with injury – one of several lengthy injury absences endured by the 28-year-old – Kruse is looking to feature in his first global tournament since the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru way back in 2005.
One of several Brisbane-raised players of his generation to reach the international stage, Kruse’s breakthrough season came at Melbourne Victory and was perfectly timed for selection in Australia’s 2011 AFC Asian Cup squad. The disappointment of a runners-up finish at Qatar 2011 was cast aside four years later as Australia won on home soil for their maiden Asian crown, with Kruse a key member of the side throughout the tournament. After five seasons spread across some of Germany’s bigger clubs – most notably Bayer Leverkusen – Kruse this year joined the growing tide of players heading to China PR, by linking with Liaoning Whowin. Kruse, who earned his 50th cap earlier this year in a World Cup qualifier, remains a key contributor in Postecoglou’s ranks where his raw pace in attack perfectly complement the team’s philosophy.