61 days to go: Attila Abonyi's FIFA World Cup story

As part of our countdown to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, we profile every Australian player who's been to a World Cup.

Today we continue the countdown with Attila Abonyi, one of Australia's midfielders at the 1974 World Cup.

READ: FIFA World Cup: Countdown for the Caltex Socceroos

Cap number: 191

World Cups played at: 1974

Position: Winger

Age at World Cup: 27 (now 71)

Clubs played for: Melbourne Hungaria, St George, Sydney Croatia, Melita Eagles

Best World Cup moment

Attila Abonyi played in two of the Socceroos’ three matches at the 1974 World Cup.

He came off the bench for the second half of Australia’s 3-0 defeat to West Germany, and played the entirety of the 0-0 draw with Chile to help claim the Socceroos’ first ever World Cup point.

Abonyi has been credited as the only Australian to come close to scoring in the 1974 World Cup, hitting the post in the loss to West Germany.

Career highlight

Born in Hungary, Abonyi played 89 games in total for the Socceroos including 61 ‘A’ internationals. He’s currently fifth on the Australian goal-scoring charts, with 25 goals.

He kickstarted his football career after migrating to Australia in 1957 as a ten-year-old, before winning three championships with St George in the early 70s.

Playing at the ’74 World Cup would be one of his career highlights, along with taking on a touring Manchester United side in 1975.

Post-playing career

Abonyi was one of the inaugural inductees into the FFA Hall of Fame in 1999.

He tried his hand at management for a number of years following his retirement from playing, winning the minor premiership with Sydney Croatia in his first two years as player-coach.

The 71-year-old now lives on the NSW North Coast.

Did you know?

Socceroo legend Johnny Warren is among the players who Abonyi rates as the best he’s played with, due to his leadership and determination.

His Socceroos’ debut was against New Zealand, where he scored a hat-trick during a 1967 tournament played in Vietnam in the midst of the Vietnam War. During his time there, he remembers bombs going off in the distance.