16 days to go: Ivan Franjic's FIFA World Cup story

Russia 2018 is fast approaching and as part of our countdown to the tournament, we are profiling every Australian player who's been to a FIFA World Cup.

Today we re-live the experience of Ivan Franjic, a member of the Brazil 2014 squad and later an AFC Asian Cup winner.

READ: FIFA World Cup: Countdown for the Caltex Socceroos

Cap number: 551

World Cups played at: 2014

Position: Right-back

Age at World Cup: 26 (now aged 30)

Clubs played for: 

St Albans Saints, Melbourne Knights, Oakleigh Cannons, Brisbane Roar, Torpedo Moscow, Melbourne City, Daegu FC

Best World Cup moment:

Franjic's impact in Brazil was cruelly curbed by a torn hamstring just 50 minutes into his FIFA World Cup debut.

Though it ruled him out of the remaining two matches, the marauding right-back still found time to carve out a memorable moment during the opening group game against Chile.

Having won possession with a brilliant challenge high on the right flank, Franjic swung in a perfect cross for Tim Cahill to head home the first of Australia's three goals at the tournament.

Ivan Franjic and Mark Milligan
Franjic was Ange Postecoglou's first-choice right-back in 2014.

Career highlight:

Franjic recovered from his injury setback in time for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, where he was a pivotal figure in Australia's run to glory.

The Melbourne product started every match as the Caltex Socceroos rode the wave of home support to be crowned Asian champions for the first time.

Franjic has also enjoyed plenty of success in the Hyundai A-League, featuring in all three of Brisbane Roar's Grand Final victories.

Ivan Franjic
Celebrating Massimo Luongo's opener in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup final.

Post-playing career:

A fan favourite at Roar, Franjic is still playing and returned for his second stint in Brisbane in November 2017 following stints abroad and with Melbourne City.

Did you know?

Having considered giving up football, the then 21-year-old was still working as a carpenter when he was handed a six-week contract by Brisbane in August 2009.