As part of our countdown to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, we profile every Australian player who's been to a World Cup.
Today we continue the countdown with Matthew Spiranovic, one of Australia's defenders at the 2014 World Cup.
Cap number: 515
World Cups played at: 2014
Age at World Cup: 25 (now 29)
Clubs played for: North Geelong Warriors, Melbourne Victory, FC Nurnberg, Urawa Red Diamonds, Al-Arabi, Western Sydney Wanderers, Hangzhou Greentown
Best World Cup moment
Matthew Spiranovic started in all three of Australia’s matches at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Wearing the number six, the centre-back did his best to contain some of the world’s best strikers in what was the so-called ‘group of death’.
The likes of Alexis Sanchez, Fernando Torres and Robin van Persie were just some of the big names he came up against.
Spiranovic came off the bench in both legs of Western Sydney Wanderers’ famous 2014 AFC Champions League Final victory.
It capped off a stunning year for the defender, who played at the World Cup just four months previous to the continental title.
The following year, Spiranovic featured in all but one of Australia's matches in a winning 2015 AFC Asian Cup campaign.
Spiranovic is still a professional footballer and currently turns out for Chinese side Hangzhou Greentown.
Did you know?
Spiranovic was the subject of a tug-of-war over his international allegiance between Australia and Croatia, due to his Croatian heritage. He made the decision in 2007 to play for the Caltex Socceroos and hasn’t looked back.
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