Sparkling Arzani cameo prompts 'million dollar question'
Daniel Arzani has a special knack for making big things happen in small spaces of time.
From virtual unknown to Hyundai A-League sensation in a matter of weeks, he's now on the verge of turning a first Caltex Socceroos camp into a dream FIFA World Cup™ debut.
And it could potentially come in the form of a starting spot against France on June 16.
The 19-year-old incredibly needed just 67 seconds of Australia's 2-1 friendly win over Hungary on Sunday morning (AEST) to make his case to Bert van Marwijk.
Introduced in the 73rd minute for his second international appearance, Arzani immediately exuded full belief in his rare ability as he darted in from the left and unleashed a dipping shot that squirmed under Denes Dibusz for the opener.
The teenager wasn't done there.
It was his brilliant vision and execution that sent Jackson Irvine into the box in the lead-up to Australia's stoppage-time winner in Budapest.
The eye-catching display did enough to convince for Australia international Robbie Slater of his merits for a place in the starting XI.
"What a cameo. That was just absolutely brilliant from the youngster who came off the bench and made the game his own," Slater said on Fox Sports.
"In the end you're thinking give it to Arzani. Did he lose the ball?
"And some of the touches, he showed confidence, no fear and he showed quality.
Arzani will be the youngest player in Russia and debate is likely to rage over the most effective way to utilise his talents.
"The million dollar question here is how best to use him without putting too much expectation on him," ex-Caltex Socceroos skipper Paul Okon posed.
Van Marwijk, a 20-year senior coach who helped launch the career of now-assistant Mark van Bommel, will draw on his wealth of experience in coming to a conclusion.
There might be fewer than seven days until Australia take to the pitch in Kazan but, when it comes to Arzani, situations can change at a rapid rate.
Progress Report: Tom Rogic
We all know Tom Rogic is adored by those in Glasgow green and white. The Caltex Socceroo has been a big factor in maintaining Celtic’s domestic dominance in Scotland, and he’s collected eight trophies in total since joining the Bhoys in 2013. But how is the Wizard of Oz far
The power of football: Mooy inspires young cancer patient
Caltex Socceroos star Aaron Mooy had plenty of admirers for his performances at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but probably none more special than young Bella. Bella is battling brain cancer and started chemotherapy last year, with the treatment seeing the young girl lose all her ha
Aussies Abroad weekend wrap: how did your Caltex Socceroos perform?
Missed your Caltex Socceroos in action over the weekend? We've got you covered. Every week we're wrapping up all the club football action involving our Aussies abroad. AUSSIES ABROAD: Rogic, Ryan and Mabil impress in Europe PROGRESS REPORT: Mark Milligan 'AMAZING': Pat