Schwarzer happy to see Socceroos as underdogs

Recently retired Socceroo legend Mark Schwarzer likes that the world has written off Australia’s World Cup chances in what some describe as a Group of Death, saying it's a 'great position to be in'.

The Australians are grouped with Chile in the opening game on June 13, followed by Holland and Spain.

A scan of bookmakers odds have the Socceroos as long shots to qualify from the group with the Spaniards and Louis van Gaal’s Dutch the favourites to go through as top two.

However the Chelsea keeper is quite happy to see the Australians fly under the radar and says a surprise in the group is not out of the question.

“It’s going to be very, very tough of course,” he told

“The expectations on a global perspective are very low but within the camp they’ll have a lot of self belief and confidence that they can cause upsets.

“And I think it’s a great position to be in,” the 41-year-old added.

“Nobody’s expecting anything from them and if teams under-estimate them, they’ll come undone.

“I’m sure he [Socceroo coach Ange Postecoglou] has a plan.

“You’ve got to go into a tournament like a Word Cup with definite plans against teams you already know you’re playing against.”

Schwarzer was speaking at the official farewell dinner for the national team.

When pressed, he remained adamant he’d not had made an error of judgment in retiring from the national team last November.

“Not at all. It’s been great to come to such an event but very happy with my decision I made last year.

“Without a doubt, I’m still a very avid fan of the Socceroos first and foremost.

“It’ll be a little different for me [watching the games] from afar.

“But I’ll definitely enjoy the World Cup from a different perspective this time around.”

Schwarzer, who is hopeful a new deal at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho, didn’t want to be drawn into the debate over the Socceroos number one for the World Cup.

And he hinted that the current Belgian shot-stopper of the year has the best chance of stepping out onto the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba for the opening game against Chile on June 13.

“It’s a hard one. Out of the goalkeepers the one I’d give my opinion on is Maty Ryan is in the pole position in the sense of playing week in week out and playing very well.

“I’d think at the moment he’d be the one in pole position, but we’ll have to wait and see.

“The manager is there to make those difficult decisions.

"He’s going to have time together, training and playing games day in day out to prepare, and I’m sure he’ll base his decisions on that.”

Fans at tomorrow night’s farewell match against South Africa will have the chance to pay their tributes to Schwarzer and other retiring Socceroos who will be guests on the night at ANZ Stadium.

Send Off the Socceroos

Socceroos vs South Africa, presented by NAB

Monday 26 May 2014
 ANZ Stadium, Sydney 
Kick-off: 7.30pm
Tickets from $30, including public transport. Buy now!

ABC Grandstand will have live coverage of the match from 1900-2135 AEST on ABC Grandstand Digital across Australia, online and via the phone app.

You can also tune in on digital SBS Radio 3 and SBS Radio 4, Digital TV, online at or via the SBS Your Language App.