40 days to go: Harry Kewell's FIFA World Cup story

There are just six weeks to go until Russia 2018 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 feature Harry Kewell, perhaps the nation's most famous footballing export.

Lethal with his left foot and capable of conjuring magic, the 56-time Caltex Socceroo scored 17 goals in an international career spanning 16 years and two FIFA World Cups.

READ: FIFA World Cup: Countdown for the Caltex Socceroos

Cap number: 415

World Cups played at: 2006, 2010

Position: Forward

Age at World Cup: 27 in 2006, 31 in 2010 (now aged 39)

Clubs played for:

Leeds United, Liverpool, Galatasaray, Melbourne Victory, Al-Gharafa, Melbourne Heart

Best World Cup moment:

Kewell was instrumental in getting Australia to the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

He came off the bench in the second qualifying leg against Uruguay and - albeit accidentally - teed up Mark Bresciano's vital goal, before dispatching the first spot-kick of the shootout.

But there was an even greater individual moment to come at the tournament itself.

Needing a point to advance to the knockout rounds for the first time, Australia had Kewell to thank as he met Bresciano's cross at the far post and equalised in the 79th minute to secure the unforgettable 2-2 draw.

Harry Kewell
Scoring on that famous night in Stuttgart.

Career highlight:

Kewell started in Liverpool's miraculous victory over AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final, but the injury that forced him off before half-time made it a bittersweet moment. 

There were plenty of other highs across his 18-year professional career.

He emerged as a teenage sensation at Leeds United, with whom he won the PFA Young Player of the Year award and a spot in the PFA Team of the Year in 2000.

His early performances in green and gold were just as thrilling, the 20-year-old scoring in both legs of the 1997 qualifying defeat to Iran along with a golden goal against Uruguay in the FIFA Confederations Cup semi-finals later that year.

Further down the line, Kewell was named in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup Team of the Tournament for spearheading Australia's run to the final.

Post-playing career:

Along with the launch of a junior academy, Kewell made a quick step into coaching following his retirement.

He took over Watford's Under 21 team a year after hanging up the boots, before winning his first senior appointment at League Two side Crawley Town in May 2017.

In his first season in charge, the rookie coach looks set to achieve the club's highest finish since they dropped into the fourth tier in 2015.

Did you know?

The man himself says he spurned interest from heavyweights such as Barcelona, AC Milan, Manchester United and Bayern Munich in order to join Liverpool, the club he supported as a boy.