Ranked: The Socceroos' Top 5 Performers in 2021

In a year that saw the Socceroos return to action for the first time in 18 months, we look back at some of Australia's top performers across several different categories. 

The Socceroos quest for a fifth consecutive FIFA World Cup resumed in June, with seven wins out of ten and plenty of memorable individual milestones along the way. 

As we round up 2021, here are your top five goal scorers, assisters, clean sheets, appearances and match minutes played. 

Most match minutes

It was a great year for Socceroos midfielder Jackson Irvine, who not only played the most minutes for the Green and Gold, but he also began to return to form with his club side FC St. Pauli in Bundesliga 2.

The 28-year-old started all but one match in 2021 for the Socceroos as he topped the match minutes tally with 789, played in nine matches. 

Jackson Irvine
Jackson Irvine played the most minutes for the Socceroos in 2021.

Irvine was followed closely by Ajdin Hrustic, Aziz Behich, Mathew Ryan and Trent Sainsbury. 

PLAYER STARTS MINUTES PLAYED
Jackson Irvine 789 
Ajdin Hrustic 776 
Aziz Behich 743 
Mathew Ryan 720 
Trent Sainsbury  720 

Most appearances

It was a breakout year for Socceroos midfielder Ajdin Hrustic, who appeared in all ten of the Socceroos' FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches in 2021. 

In the absence of Aaron Mooy and Tom Rogic for Australia’s June qualifiers, Hrustic took up the mantle and flourished in the number 10 role. From there, he went on to become a mainstay in the Green and Gold midfield. 

Hrustic
Ajdin Hrustic made the most appearances for the Socceroos in 2021.

The 25-year-old  Eintracht Frankfurt playmaker was closely followed by Irvine, Behich, Awer Mabil and Mitchell Duke. 

PLAYER STARTS SUBSTITUTED IN MINUTES APPEARANCES
Ajdin Hrustic 1 776  10
Jackson Irvine 9 0 789  9
Aziz Behich 8 1 743 9
Awer Mabil 5 4 478 9
Mitchell Duke 3 6 358 9

Most assists

In 2021, Socceroos assists were shared across the board. Martin Boyle and Riley McGree topped the list with two assists apiece. 

Boyle has also been in fine form for his club Hibernian FC, contributing 14 goals in all competitions so far - while McGree has also scored twice in the Championship for Birmingham FC. 

Mcgree, Boyle
Riley McGree and Martin Boyle assisted the most for the Socceroos in 2021.

McGree and Boyle were closely followed by Adam Taggart, Mabil and Hrustic who all registered one assist during FIFA World Cup qualifying in 2021. 

PLAYER STARTS SUBSTITUTED IN MINUTES ASSISTS
Riley McGree 5 164 2
Martin Boyle 8 0 659 2
Adam Taggart 4 1 278 1
Awer Mabil 5 4 478 1
Ajdin Hrustic 9 1 776 1

Most goals

Fagiano Okayama striker Mitch Duke was the Socceroos' top goal scorer in 2021, with five in nine appearances - seven of those coming off the bench.

The milestone caps off a fantastic year for the 30-year-old, who credits his goalscoring form to his return to Japan.

mitchell-duke-secures-victory-against-oman
Mitchell Duke was the Socceroos top goalscorer in 2021 with five.

“I feel very much at home here in Japan, I loved my time with Shimizu S-Pulse and I’m loving being back,” Duke told Socceroos insider in October

"I feel like physically and mentally, I'm in the best place I've ever been and I just want to keep that going. Now I feel like I go into every game feeling like I'm going to score so I think that's a massive change in the mental side of things.”

Duke was closely followed by Boyle who played double the amount of minutes. Mathew Leckie, Mabil, Hrustic and Harry Souttar all had two goals apiece to tie for third position. 

PLAYER STARTS SUBSTITUTED IN MINUTES ASSISTS GOALS
Mitchell Duke 6 358 0 5
Martin Boyle 8 0 659 2 3
Mathew Leckie 4 0 154 0 2
Awer Mabil 5 4 478 1 2
Ajdin Hrustic 9 1 776 1 2

Most clean sheets

An honourable mention goes to Maty Ryan, who kept six clean sheets out of eight in 2021, with the longest streak lasting four matches.

Maty Ryan
Maty Ryan kept six clean sheets in 2021.

The Socceroos will be itching to return to action and record more milestones once their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualification campaign resumes in early 2022.

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