Australia World Cup 2010 team guide and Squad

This is Australia's third World Cup, the second in succession. If 1974 was a novelty, 2006 proved they took it seriously. Among bitter locals, the pain of losing to 10-man Italy in the round of 16 still rankles.

How Australia Qualified in World Cup 2010
It was a far cry from the emotional penalty shootout victory over Uruguay in 2005, when Australia became the last nation on the planet to book its place at football’s showpiece event. That night will largely remain a blur for most Australia fans and is a stark contrast to the clinical manner in which Pim Verbeek has steered the Socceroos through their first Asian qualification path. They came through two groups, with Iraq and China headlining the first and Japan the second. They topped both of them and lost just one out of their fourteen matches, conceding only four times.

Manager: Pim Verbeek is a pragmatic coach who worked with the successful South Korea side in 2002. A solid organiser who led the Aussies’ near perfect qualification.

World ranking: 20.

Best World Cup performance: Second round (2006)

Key Players

LUCAS NEILL The former Millwall, Blackburn, West Ham and Everton defender will be desperate to get back to the World Cup stage after he conceded the penalty against 2006 winners Italy that led to Australia's exit. Now at Galatasaray in Turkey he forms part of an experienced Socceroo defence.

TIM CAHILL Everton's goalscoring midfielder had trouble appearing for the Socceroos earlier in his career after representing an U-20 Western Samoa team as a 14-year-old, but he will want to pick up where he left off in 2006 - his double against Japan helped book a place in the second round.

HARRY KEWELL The injury-prone forward had begun to capture some form at Galatasary this season before a hamstring problem put his World Cup spot in jeopardy. Verbeek considers his talents good enough to take a risk but doubts remain particularly with only two other strikers in the squad.

Australia World Cup 2010 Fixtures:

Germany - 13 June, 7.30pm, Durban
Ghana - 19 June, 3pm, Rustenburg
Serbia - 23 June, 7.30pm, Nelspruit

Australia World Cup 2010 Squad
Goalkeepers: Mark Schwarzer (Fulham), Adam Federici (Reading), Brad Jones (Middlesbrough);

Defenders: Lucas Neill (Galatasaray), Craig Moore (unattached), Scott Chipperfield (Basel), David Carney (Twente Enschede), Luke Wilkshire (Dynamo Moscow), Mark Milligan (JEF United), Michael Beauchamp (Al-Jazira);

Midfielders: Tim Cahill (Everton), Mark Bresciano (Palermo), Vince Grella (Blackburn Rovers), Brett Emerton (Blackburn Rovers), Jason Culina (Gold Coast), Harry Kewell (Galatasaray), Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar), Carl Valeri (Sassuolo), Mile Jedinak (Antalyaspor), Richard Garcia (Hull City), Dario Vidosic (Nuremberg);

Forwards: Josh Kennedy (Nagoya), Nikita Rukavytsya (Twente Enschede)

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