51 days to go: Jim Milisavljevic's FIFA World Cup story

As part of the run-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, we are profiling every Australian player that has been to football's showpiece event.

The latest member in our countdown is Melbourne-born goalkeeper Jim Milisavljevic, a player whose international ambitions were cruelly curtailed by injury.

READ: FIFA World Cup: Countdown for the Caltex Socceroos

Cap number: N/A

World Cups played at: 1974

Position: Goalkeeper

Age at World Cup: 23

Clubs played for:

Footscray JUST, Carlton, Ringwood United

Best World Cup moment:

Milisavljevic was just one three players selected in the 1974 squad from outside New South Wales, joining Footscray JUST team-mate Branko Buljevic and fellow goalkeeper Jack Reilly on the roster.

The 23-year-old aggravated an existing hand injury during a pre-tournament camp in Switzerland, but he was passed fit in time for the flight to West Germany and was reportedly considered Reilly's number two, ahead of Allan Maher.

Unusually for a goalkeeper, he was one of the younger members of the roster - only Harry Williams and Peter Ollerton were a born after him, both a month later.

Career highlight:

Milisavljevic represented his home state Victoria in several tour matches, taking on the likes of Brazilian side Cruzeiro, Hungarian giants Ferencvaros and historic Polish outfit Legia Warsaw.

However, a recurring hand injury - he broke his left wrist for the third time in 1975 - unfortunately forced him to give up the gloves.

He instead returned to his junior playing position as a striker and memorably scored the winner for Footscray in their AMPOL Cup final win over South Melbourne that same year.

Did you know?

As a teenager, Milisavljevic earned his first-team opportunity at Footscray JUST in 1967 under none other than Rale Rasic.

*Photographs from the Les Shorrock, Laurie Schwab and Anton Cermak collections are used with permission from Deakin University Library, Eileen Shorrock and Mrs Jana Cermak.