Mark Viduka Interview

It’s been a big year for big striker MARK VIDUKA in Scotland .. and this week, he capped off his season by picking up the prestigious Scottish Player of the Year Award.

It-s been a big year for big striker MARK VIDUKA in Scotland .. and this week, he capped off his season by picking up the prestigious Scottish Player of the Year Award.

Viduka, who has previously won Australia-s Most Valuable Player twice, as well as best Foreigner in the Croatian League during his time with Croatia Zagreb, is particularly pleased with the recognition afforded him by his peers for his season with Celtic.

“Personally, this Award gives me a lot of pride and satisfaction, because it-s been given to me from my fellow professionals, who are the best judges of footballers.

“It-s their life, they live it and breathe it every day and they know what goes into being a good player.

“The award also gives me a lot of satisfaction because I feel it silences a lot of the critics, who had written me off as soon as I came to Celtic, and even before I came to Scotland, so yes, it feel great. “

The former Melbourne Knights striker knows first hand the long and sometimes difficult road that many Australians, and in fact Australian soccer has faced for recognition on the European scene, and therefore sees an added significance in this achievement.

“Coming from Australia, we haven-t been looked upon as a huge soccer nation, but we-re slowly bringing the reputation up to where it should be.

“All of us, look at Harry Kewell winning the English Premier League-s Young Player of the Year Award, and in my view, he should have also won the Player of the Year instead of coming third, look at Mark Bosnich-s achievements with Manchester United, then there-s Craig Moore having a big impact and coming third in this Award.

“It-s good for us, it-s good for Australian football and its reputation, and it-s great to see that we-re doing so well overseas, not just competing in the Leagues, but standing up and being counted.

Viduka is the first to acknowledge that so far it hasn-t been all smooth sailing, but despite being a constant figure under the media spotlight, he has been able to enjoy most aspects of the Scottish game.

“I think we all know that since I-ve been in Scotland, it-s been a bit of a turbulent time, but really, once I started playing football and concentrating on playing football, it-s been great here.

“I really enjoy playing with Celtic, and I think that-s reflected on the park where you have the chance to play in front of crowds of 60 000 every week, so in a nutshell, it-s been a really good season for me.

“So far, I would have to say that my most memorable moment was winning the League Cup with Celtic, it was really a big buzz lifting the trophy for myself, for the team, for the fans.

“And while I-ve scored a lot of goals this season, the one that stands out the most in my mind has to be the one I scored against Rangers, it was great to net one in the Old Firm derby.”

So that, leads to the inevitable ‘next question-, and the inevitable chuckle from the other end of the telephone line - what-s next for Mark Viduka?

“I-m look forward to a big holiday and then we-ll see - I don-t see that far into the future.” he concludes.

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