38 days to go: Ante Covic'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.

Featured today is Ante Covic, a member of the Germany 2006 squad who was restricted to two international caps by a well-stocked goalkeeping department.

READ: FIFA World Cup: Countdown for the Caltex Socceroos

Cap number: 488

World Cups played at: 2006

Position: Goalkeeper

Age at World Cup: 30 (now aged 42)

Clubs played for:

APIA Leichhardt, Marconi Stallions, PAOK, Kavala (loan), Hammarby, Newcastle Jets, Elfsborg, Melbourne Victory, Western Sydney Wanderers, Perth Glory, Rockdale City Suns

Best World Cup moment:

Covic beat out strong opposition to win the third goalkeeping spot behind national team regulars Mark Schwarzer and Zeljko Kalac in the 2006 squad.

He had been there on the night Australia beat Uruguay to qualify but entered the tournament as one of only three players with a lone cap, having debuted against Bahrain earlier in the year.

Ante CovicAnte Covic
In training in Oehringen.

Career highlight:

Covic was one of the heroes of Western Sydney Wanderers' incredible AFC Champions League triumph in 2014.

He was named the player of the tournament for an exceptional string of performances that included back-to-back clean sheets in the two-legged final, producing a miraculous one-handed save in the 85th minute of the second match.

The Sydney product also won the Hyundai A-League Grand Final with Newcastle Jets in 2008 and went on to feature in glamour UEFA Cup clashes against the likes of Lazio and Napoli during a two-season stint at Elfsborg.

Ante Covic
Covic was at the core of Western Sydney's early success.

Post-playing career:

Now 42, Covic still remains active as a player.

NPL New South Wales side Rockdale City Suns are the beneficiaries of his vast experience, the veteran shot-stopper joining the club after leaving Perth Glory at the end of the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 Season.

Did you know?

Covic did not seriously take up goalkeeping until he was 17, having only spent one previous season in goal as a 13-year-old.

He was thrust into the position while at Hurstville Zagreb and never returned to his original role as a striker.