Socceroos greats – what the strip means to them

A host of Socceroos legends have given their take on the newly released Nike strip that for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2014.

A host of Socceroos legends have given their take on the newly released Nike strip that for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2014.

From some of the recently retired household names to some of the most famous players to don the Socceroos strip from yesteryear, the above video taken at the new kit launch highlights the emotions that were stirred up when they saw the new strip was revealed and what it meant to these icons of Australian football to wear the green and gold.

To give an understanding and provide some background on the men who feature in the video, the following profiles are intended to highlight the contribution each made to not only the Socceroos but the folklore of football in Australia.

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Rale Rasic Born: 26-Dec-1935 (Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina) Named Coach in 1971-1980 Team of the Decade

After arriving in Australia as a migrant in 1962, Rasic began coaching with Footscray JUST four years later and was appointed to the Socceroos top job in 1970. A coach who demanded professionalism from his charges, Rasic pieced together a squad known for not only its physical but also mental strength, his tutelage helping to guide Australia through a touch qualifying campaign and into its first ever World Cup in 1974. All up Rasic coached the Socceroos in 58 internationals before spending time as a successful coach in the NSL. In 2004 he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for ‘service to soccer-.

Ray Baartz Born: 6 March 1947 (Newcastle) Position: Midfielder 1971-1980 Team of the Decade

Baartz was one of the cruel-luck stories of Australia-s 1974 World Cup campaign. The highly talented midfielder renowned for his ‘lethal left foot, speed and acceleration, poise and vision- suffered a ruptured artery in a game against Uruguay prior to the tournament. The injury ruled Baartz, who one of only two Australian born players named in the World Cup squad, out of playing any part in West Germany (even though he still travelled with the team) and effectively putting a premature end to his career. Baartz made 59 Socceroos appearances and scored 21 goals, while he amassed 211 goals from a total of 236 club games. His standing in Australian football id evidenced by him being named in the Greatest Ever Australian Team.

Adrian Alston Born: 6-Feb-1949 (Preston, England) Position: Forward 1971-1980 Team of the Decade

The English born target man immigrated to Australia in 1968 as he joined South Coast United, with his call up to the Socceroos coming just a year later. Known as ‘Noddy- for his tremendous ability in the air and dominance in aerial contests, Alston was a force to be reckoned with throughout the Socceroos- 1974 World Cup qualifying campaign and the tournament itself. Such was his imposing presence on the field, particularly against the tall and physically intimidating East and West German defenders, Alston attracted interest from a number of Bundesliga clubs but chose to join Luton Town back in his homeland. After 62 games and 17 goals for Australia between 1969 and 1974, injury forced Alston to hang up his boots in 1978.

John Aloisi Born: 5 Feb 1976, Adelaide Position: Forward 2000-2012 Team of the Decade

Will forever be remembered as the player who scored the penalty against Uruguay to send the Socceroos to the 2006 World Cup, only Australia-s second appearance in the tournament and first since 1974. In a career that took him to England, Italy and Spain, Aloisi made 57 appearances and scored 29 goals for the Socceroos between 1997 and 2008, which included a memorable strike in a 3-1 win over Japan in Australia-s first match of the 2006 world Cup.

Brett Emerton Born: 22 Feb 1979, Sydney Position: Midfielder 2000-2012 Team of the Decade

As well as being capped 100 times for the Socceroos, Emerton also represented Australia at U17, U20 and U23 level, which included captaining his country at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Emerton-s Socceroos debut came against Chile (one of the countries in Australia-s group for this year-s World Cup) in 1998 and he would continue to feature in the national team, predominantly as a right winger, up until 2012.

To watch the video, click on the video link above.

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