Damian Mori is desperately clinging to his Qantas Socceroos goal-scoring record, but with a firing Archie Thompson breathing down his neck he might not have it much longer.
Damian Mori is not so sure his Socceroos goal-scoring record is about to be broken by Archie Thompson.
The Melbourne Victory talisman may only need one more goal to draw level with Mori's mark of 29, but the record holder is clinging to the honour like an oyster to a rock.
"He's not going to make the Socceroos team after the calls I've put in," Mori said with a straight face.
"I've called in some favours. Holger Osieck tells me he's not going to play Archie anymore.
"He's done a deal with me and then I've got to get one done up to cover for Timmy Cahill."
Mori, of course, is joking.
The man they call 'Frogger' knows the record he has kept for the last 10 years is about to be passed to Thompson.
Both men have been capped 45 times, with Mori ahead of Thompson by one goal and Tim Cahill (26) ready to pounce.
"Records are meant to be broken - that's what they are there for," Mori said.
"Archie's had a tremendous career and it's still going. Good luck to him."
Thompson's figures were famously pumped up by a world record 13-goal haul as Australia demolished American Samoa 31-0 in a World Cup qualifier in 2001.
Mori, now a successful coach at State League club Adelaide City, also dined out at times against weak Oceania opposition.
But he dismisses criticism the goalscoring record should not be highly valued because of inferior competition.
"When I played we were semi-professional and worked during the day and there were different aspects to international football," Mori pointed out.
"We used to play a series of games in a row and often in hostile environments on some pretty ordinary grounds.
"We played against some opposition that weren't that strong but you still have to put the goals away.
"That's the same with Archie. You can only play the opposition presented you and he's made the most of his chances."
It's not the only similarity Mori sees between the pair.
Both strikers took off overseas without setting the world on fire, returning to dominate in the Australian league.
"Archie is similar to me in some ways in that he tried overseas and it didn't quite work out and he's proved more successful in the domestic league," Mori continued.
"Sometimes timing has a lot to do with it. Maybe when he went overseas and I went overseas the timing wasn't right.
"But he's a very good striker in any company and someone I enjoy watching.
"Archie's been good for a long time."
Too good, it seems, not to equal then break Mori's record sometime in 2013.
"I might just have to let it go," Mori smiled.
"It's going to cost me too much to bribe Holger."
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