After serving his apprenticeship with Millwall in the English lower divisions for more than seven seasons, Lucas Neill earned his dream contract of playing in the English Premier League when Blackburn came in for him in 2001.
Since then he has never looked back, being an automatic selection for Blackburn and more recently for the Qantas Socceroos. He is very strong in the tackle, good in the air and links well in attack. His best attribute is his versatility across the backline, which he proved in the matches against Uruguay that got Australia to the 2006 World Cup.
At the World Cup he formed a terrific partnership with Craig Moore and led the backline superbly with assured displays. He left Blackburn Rovers for a big money move to West Ham United, where he was captain.
He was chosen by then-coach Pim Verbeek to lead the Qantas Socceroos during the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign and proved an inspirational choice in guiding the team around the park to successfully qualify for the 2010 finals.
Neill played alongside Qantas Socceroos teammate Tim Cahill at Everton during the 2009-10 EPL season before a quick switch to join Harry Kewell at Galatasaray in Turkey. He signed for United Arab Emirates club Al Jazira ahead of the 2011-12 season, Al Wasl for 2012-13 before returning to the A-League where he played out the rest of the 2012-13 season for Sydney FC.
Neill led the Australian side to the 2014 World Cup as the Socceroos miserly defence only let in one goal in the final three games to ensure he remained in contention to become a three-time World Cup player.