In three bruising, battling performances against France, Denmark and Peru, Mark Milligan has epitomised the defensive hard-man for the Socceroos at the 2018 FIFA World Cup™.
Milligan has starred at the heart of defence throughout Australia's Group C campaign alongside central partner Trent Sainsbury, with the pair mounting a platform for the Socceroos to nullify some of world football's most prized attacking talent.
Combining backs-to-the-wall grit with his usual elegance on the ball, the 32-year-old was a crucial part in negating the considerable firepower of the Socceroos' Group C opponents, but also proved a pivotal cog in generating sequences of possession for Bert van Marwijk's side.
Australia's 2-0 defeat to Peru overnight spelled the end of the tournament dream for the Socceroos and Milligan, who had made his fourth FIFA World Cup™ appearance.
But that all paled away into triviality post-match as Australia's warrior shared a moment pitch side with his three daughters.
Milligan said it was difficult to put a finger on where the Socceroos went wrong against Peru as he lamented Australia's tournament exit post match.
"It’s hard to say... it’s just disappointing," Milligan told Optus Sport.
"We worked so hard and I really thought we’d give this a shake and to see the scoreline, 2-0, at the end of that is a bit gut wrenching."
The 32-year-old is due to return to club side Al-Ahli Jeddah for the Saudi outfit's pre-season preparations in the coming weeks.
But that will be pushed to one side as he looks forward to reuniting with family after a gruelling tournament.
Duke replaces Ikonomidis in Caltex Socceroos squad to face Korea Republic
Perth Glory’s Chris Ikonomidis will miss the upcoming friendly international with Korea Republic after scans revealed damage to his shoulder would require surgery. Caltex Socceroos Head Coach Graham Arnold said it was unfortunate, but after consultation with the club and the p
Jedinak’s presence huge boost for Villa ahead of lucrative playoff final
If Aston Villa have one thing in their favour in Tuesday morning’s (12am AEST) Championship playoff final against Derby County, it’s the presence of Mile Jedinak. The former Caltex Socceroos skipper is back at Wembley in the widely touted as the ‘richest game in world football
Aussies Abroad: Rogic’s Celtic make history after Scottish Cup final triumph
Tom Rogic’s Celtic has defeated Hearts in the Scottish Cup Final overnight to complete a remarkable ‘Treble’ and confirm themselves as the undisputed kings of Scottish football. The Bhoys were made to work hard for the win at Hampden Park though, falling behind early in the se
Caltex Socceroos defender Behich heading back to Turkey
Caltex Socceroos defender Aziz Behich has made a move back to Turkey, joining İstanbul Başakşehir FK on a three-year deal. After being unable to break into Mark van Bommel’s PSV side in the Eredivisie, the 28-year-old left-back has decided to join the Istanbul-based outfit whi