Socceroos legend John Aloisi has praised the Socceroos for becoming the first nation in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to win ten consecutive FIFA World Cup™ qualification matches in a single campaign.
With the countdown to Qatar 2022 well and truly ramping up, former Socceroos striker Aloisi provided an insight into how the squad would be feeling as the pointy end of qualifying approaches.
“They will be excited,” Aloisi explained on Socceroos Insider Live.
This is the business end of the qualifiers so you know that the games that they've got coming up are tough games.
“It's not going to be easy but you can imagine the group being excited to join each other again because there's nothing more special than playing for your country.”
Aloisi's Socceroos career spanned more than a decade, with his penalty kick to ensure the Socceroos qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup being the moment he is most remembered for.
The iconic penalty kick that ended Australia's 32-year wait for a World Cup berth, will never be forgotten.
The Adelaide-born striker went on to feature in all four matches at Germany 2006 as he was mainly used as a super-sub by coach Guus Hiddink.
During the tournament, he also became just the second-ever Australian to score at a FIFA World Cup.
Having featured at the FIFA World Cup during his Socceroos career, Aloisi said there is no better feeling than representing your country at the highest level.
“The players who have had the experience of playing in a World Cup will be able to tell you that there's nothing better and nothing can beat it,” Aloisi said.
“As a supporter going to support your nation, it's also an exciting time for them because there is only a little bit to go before they see if they can make it to the World Cup.
“I’m sure they will. They have got the squad and with Arnie's experience, he's shown what he can do with this squad.”
With the Socceroos recently notching up ten consecutive wins under Graham Arnold, Aloisi also praised the squad's midfield rotation.
The national team has depth, form and creativity in the position with the emergence of Ajdin Hrustic and the reintroduction of Aaron Mooy and Tom Rogic.
“Ajdin has a great left foot and the ability to shoot from distance, but you also have Tommy Rogic who has started to perform really well for Celtic,” Aloisi explained.
“We all know what Aaron Mooy can do but the likes of Irvine and Riley McGree who performed well with the Olyroos make up a good midfield.
“If Arnie needs to rotate, he has a good balance there. Not only players that can win the ball but players that can actually play and create a lot of chances for the more attacking players.”
The Socceroos will look to continue their record-breaking streak when Group B action resumes in early October.
Arnold's side will take on Oman on Thursday, October 7 before travelling to Japan on the following Tuesday, October 12.
While the Green and Gold are very familiar with some of their Group B opponents, Aloisi explained just how challenging it can be to play across Asia.
“Japan is one of those sides that we know really well and we always find it tough against them,” he said.
“The atmosphere when we play in Japan is always good and the Saudi Arabia fans are quite intimidating when you go there.
“Especially at home they are a tough team to play against. They play some great football and they have some very good players.
All of these games when you play away from home are tough.
“You expect that if we do get to play some games at home that we should be favourites but I still think that we're capable of beating all the sides, whether it's away or at home.”