48 days to go: Lucas Neill's FIFA World Cup story

It's now less than 50 days until the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and as part of our countdown to the tournament in Russia, we are profiling every Australian player who's been to a World Cup.

The latest member in our list is Lucas Neill, a classy and versatile defender that left a lasting legacy with appearances at two FIFA World Cups.

He remains just one of four men to have skipped Australia at the tournament and is also the team's longest-serving captain, having worn the armband on 61 occasions - one more than the great Peter Wilson.

READ: FIFA World Cup: Countdown for the Caltex Socceroos

Cap number: 421

World Cups played at: 2006, 2010

Position: Defender

Age at World Cup: 28 in 2006, 32 in 2010 (now aged 40)

Clubs played for:

Millwall, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United, Everton, Galatasaray, Al Jazira, Al Wasl, Sydney FC, Omiya Ardija, Watford, Doncaster Rovers

Best World Cup moment:

Neill started in all seven of the Caltex Socceroos' matches in Germany and South Africa, going head-to-head with the likes of Ronaldo, Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose.

He flourished under Guus Hiddink and received rave reviews for helping Australia to the Round of 16 in 2006.

While the team fell just short of reaching the same stage in 2010, Neill enjoyed a proud tournament personally as he skippered the team against each of Germany, Ghana and Serbia.

Lucas Neill and Ronaldinho
Mixing it with Ronaldinho in 2006.

Career highlight:

The then 28-year-old became the 50th player to captain the team when he led Australia out against Paraguay in Brisbane in October 2006.

Some of his best performances with the armband came at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, leading Holger Osieck's men to the final and winning selection in the Team of the Tournament.

The Sydney product also enjoyed a long and successful Premier League career that had seemed destined ever since his breakthrough years at Millwall.

A teenage Neill was named the club's Player of the Year in just his second season in South London, and in 2001 he helped the Lions win promotion back to the second tier.

Lucas Neill
Neill shone for Millwall, amassing over 150 appearances.

Post-playing career:

The 96-time international has since relocated back to England, living in Lancashire - the same county as former club Blackburn Rovers.

Did you know?

Though the majority of his upbringing was in Sydney, Neill's love of football was nurtured as a child by two years spent living in the United Kingdom.