Former Socceroo Tony Popovic believes current players would welcome a re-match with tournament hosts Brazil in the group stages on the eve of the World Cup draw.
Former Socceroos defender Tony Popovic believes current players would welcome a re-match with tournament hosts Brazil in the group stages on the eve of the World Cup draw on Saturday morning (3am AEDT).
The Socceroos were on the wrong end of a 6-0 thumping by Brazil in September, one which ultimately cost coach Holger Osieck his job.
But Popovic, who was a contender to replace Osieck before Ange Postecoglou was ultimately appointed, hopes Australia draws at least one football superpower in their World Cup group.
"I think as a player you always wish for one big nation, one huge game," Popovic, said on Friday.
"Not that any of them aren't huge and every single one of them is a challenge, but you like to have one of the big boys to test yourself against them.
"And I'm sure some of the players would like to have, it might be a Brazil or Argentina or even England, it'd be fantastic to get someone like that to come up against and test ourselves."
Reminded of the ignominious loss to Brazil in September, Popovic, who made his World Cup debut against Brazil in 2006, backed the Socceroos to give a better account of themselves in their third consecutive World Cup campaign.
"We did (get beaten 6-0) didn't we, but that happens and that's been and gone," he said.
"And I'm sure if our players did get Brazil they'd really look forward to putting on a better performance and why wouldn't they look forward to testing themselves against the best."
Popovic says just qualifying for a third consecutive World Cup is an achievement to be proud of.
"Certainly I think everyone's excited and looking in anticipation to see who we'll get, I think it's just great that we're there," he said.
"We've done it now three times consecutively and it's nice to actually watch the draw knowing that we're participating.
"And whoever you get is difficult, you can go through all the nations and say, 'I wish we had this one or that one', but whoever you get you're on the world stage which is fantastic.
"Having been lucky enough to experience it, I think whoever we get as long as we go there and do ourselves proud."
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