The best Socceroos club moments of 2020

2020 is almost behind us, so it is time to savour the best moments produced by your Socceroos this year.

From show-stopping tussles in the Premier League, UEFA Champions League history, title wins near and far, and some amazing goals, Australia's finest stamped their mark on the footballing calendar despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Let's take a look back at some of 2020's best moments for our Socceroos.

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Behich wins Turkish Super Lig with Istanbul Basaksehir

Socceroos defender Aziz Behich wrote his name into the history books by securing the Turkish Super Lig title with Istanbul Basaksehir in July - the first championship in the club's history.

It was the 29-year-old fullback's first league silverware since clinching the VPL Premiership with Green Gully in 2008.

WATCH: Aziz Behich reflects on a historic, title-winning campaign for Istanbul Basaksehir

Vukovic returns after almost a year out

Socceroos goalkeeper Danny Vukovic has not played as much football as he would have liked in 2020 - but his return to football after almost a year long absence sure put a smile on many faces. 

Vukovic, 35, was sidelined with a horrific achilles tendon rupture in July 2019, coming after the ex-A-League star had helped club side Genk to their first Belgian title in eight years, and cruelly robbed him of a UEFA Champions League berth.

But after 355 days, Vukovic was back between the sticks in July. He's now reassumed his post as Genk sit in second after 18 matches, and ready to challenge for the national team again. 

Vukovic in action for Genk against Cercle in November

Amini and co. help AGF to top three finish

Awer Mabil is not the only Socceroo doing great things in Denmark, as Mustafa Amini, Alex Gersbach and young Australian talent Zach Duncan were on hand to send AFG Aarhus to their highest league finish in 23 years in the 2019/20 season.

AGF finished third behind Copenhagen and Midtjylland, qualifying for the UEFA Europa League playoffs. 

Amini has recently returned to Australia after nine years abroad, with his next destination yet to be announced. 

Grant and Redmayne star in A-League Grand Final

Another year, yet more Grand Final magic from Rhyan Grant.

The Sydney FC and Socceroos defender's winning goal gave the Sky Blues an unprecedented fifth A-League Championship in August after the fullback's chested finish defeated Melbourne City 1-0 in extra time. 

The 29-year-old would claim the 2020 Joe Marston medal as player of the match for good measure.

Goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne earned a Socceroos call up in 2019 and in 2020 kept City at bay as he enjoyed another Grand Final to remember. He was named Goalkeeper of the Season at the Dolan Warren Awards.

WATCH: Grant chests in the 2020 Grand Final winner for Sydney FC

Duke's best ever goal-scoring season

Socceroos forward Mitch Duke forced his way back into the Socceroos' reckoning after his best-ever goalscoring return in 2020

The 29-year-old notched 14 goals in 26 appearances for Western Sydney Wanderers in the A-League, consistently delivering big goals for the Red and Black side he captained. 

Duke earned a move to Al-Taawoun in the Saudi Professional League in August where he will continue to push his case for a spot in the national team front line.  

Hrustic signs for Frankfurt

September heralded a Bundesliga move for one of brightest young attacking stars in Graham Arnold's arsenal, Ajdin Hrustic.

Having flourished for Eredivisie side FC Groningen over 75 games, the 24-year-old is set to stake his claim at German top tier outfit Eintracht Frankfurt in a move that should greatly benefit the Socceroos.

Australian internationals Ned Zelic and Dave Mitchell both plied their trade at the five-time German cup winners.

Hrusric made his long-awaited debut when he came on in the 77th minute of a 2-0 triumph over Augsburg in December.

Hrustic signed for Bundesliga club Frankfurt in September

Mabil clinches title in Denmark and stars in Midtjylland's maiden CL adventure

Awer Mabil's star continued to rise in 2020. After leading Midtjylland to the Danish league title in August, the 25-year-old achieved a 'childhood dream' by helping The Wolves into the UEFA Champions league for the first time in their history. 

Midtjylland and Mabil drew Liverpool, Ajax and Atalanta on what has transpired to be a tough debut outing at Europe's top table, but the jet-heeled Australian has proven he is more than capable of competing with the world's elite. 

Mabil scored his first European goal with a neat penalty in November's 3-1 defeat to Eredivisie powerhouse Ajax, the latest incredible moment in a journey which began in a Kenyan refugee camp 25 years ago

Mabil also registered eight assists and scored a personal-best eight league goals in 2019/20, playing an instrumental role in his club's Danish league title win.

Arguably the pick of the bunch was the third goal in Midtjylland’s 3-1 win over Copenhagen which sealed the club’s title win back in July.

The triumph sits neatly alongside the Danish Cup win Mabil won in 2018/19 and an FFA Cup win with Adelaide United in 2014.

Awer Mabil

Langerak secures clean sheet record

Socceroos goalkeeper Mitch Langerak says he's enjoying career best form for J-League side Nagoya Grampus after a fantastic 2020 campaign.

Langerak broke the club's record of 13 clean sheets in a season after a 0-0 stalemate with Oita Trinita on November 28, Nagoya's 14th of the season.

Fast forward to the final day of the season, Nagoya suffered defeat only once in their final ten games, concluding the campaign with a run of over 400 minutes without conceding a goal. 

Langerak kept his 17th clean sheet in 34 games to break the J.League record for the most clean sheets in a campaign, and his side's final tally of 28 goals conceded in 34 games was also the best defensive record in the competition.  

The shot-stopper's immense form helped his side secure a third-placed finish, in the process qualifying for the AFC Champions League for the first time since 2011. 

Mitch Langerak
Langerak kept 17 clean sheets for Nagoya this season - a new league record

Arzani makes comeback, moves to Utrecht

The sight of Daniel Arzani replacing Aussie teammate Tom Rogic in Celtic's 2-1 win over Partick Thistle back in January was something for Socceroos fans to behold as the 21-year-old made his comeback from knee surgery.

Arzani - who starred at the FIFA World Cup 2018 - suffered a devastating ACL injury in October 2018, before encountering a setback in September 2019.

But the exciting youngster is ready to consign injury woes to the past and he signed a season-long loan with Eredivisie outfit FC Utrecht in August. He has featured four times in the top flight in 2020, and has one assist to his name.

Arzani moved to Utrecht in August

Deng signs for Urawa, scores belter 

You won't see many better debut goals than Thomas Deng's stunning hit for Urawa Red Diamonds in August. 

Deng had to bide his time before turning out for the J-League heavyweights having signed in January from A-League club Melbourne Victory, but a promising debut against Yokohama F.Marinos was followed by a sensational strike against Vissel Kobe a month later

WATCH: Deng scored a beauty for his first J-League goal

Rogic helps Celtic to ninth straight title

Tom Rogic's Glaswegian trophy cabinet received a new addition in 2020 when Celtic secured the league title.

The mercurial Aussie playmaker scored twice and pitched in three assists in 16 league matches before the Scottish FA awarded Celtic the title in May due to the outbreak of COVID-19 - the club's ninth league title in a row

Rogic then helped the side claim a historic quadruple-treble in December, winning the Premiership, Scottish Cup, and League Cup for a fourth season in a row. 

Celtic and Socceroos playmaker Tom Rogic battles for the ball against St Mirren
Tom Rogic has won five league titles with Celtic

Degenek's Red Star emerge victorious

Milos Degenek continued to live out his boyhood dream at Serbian outfit Red Star Belgrade by helping the club to their third successive title in 2020.

Degenek was on hand to score the fourth goal in a 5-0 June win over Rad Beograd which sealed the 31st ever for the former European superpower.




Mooy moves to China and scores goal on debut 

Aaron Mooy pulled the curtain on five excellent years in England with Huddersfield Town and Brighton and Hove Albion by signing for Chinese Super League giants Shanghai SIPG in August

He scored the winning goal on his debut against Wuhan Zall – which doubled as his 30th birthday. There is surely more to come from the Socceroos’ midfield maestro in an ultra-competitive CSL.

Aaron Mooy
Mooy signed for Shanghai SIPG in August after five years in England's Premier League

Maclaren claims A-League Golden Boot

It was a memorable A-League 2019/20 campaign for Jamie Maclaren, who won the Golden Boot after 22 goals for runners-up Melbourne City. 

The 27-year-old scored two hat-tricks on the way as he fired City to their best-ever league finish. 

WATCH: Jamie Maclaren's 22 goals for City

Souttar cements Stoke spot

Towering defender Harry Souttar had only made his league debut for Championship club Stoke City  at the end of September but has made himself a first-team regular ever since.

Souttar won the club's Player of the Month award in October after playing every minute of Stoke's seven Championship fixtures. 

Harry Souttar - Stoke City POTM
Harry Souttar won Stoke's Player of the Month award in October