2. And this is what their fans look like:
3. The Socceroos have the world record for the biggest international scoreline, when they whipped American Samoa 31-0!
4. But they have only been in four World Cups.
5. And their best result was when they made it to the Round of 16 in 2006.
They were cruelly eliminated by Italy with a VERY dodgy penalty call in the third minute of stoppage time.
6. They beat Japan 3-1, lost to Brasil 2-0 and drew 2-2 with Croatia. In their defeat of Japan, all three goals came in the last seven minutes - a Cup record.
7. Their ‘06 team was probably the strongest they’ve been. Many called them the Golden Generation.
Players like Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka, Tim Cahill and John Aloisi were all involved.
Because of this, The Socceroos are now in a rebuilding phase.
8. This is their coach.
Ange Postecoglou cut his teeth in the Australian A-League. He favours an attacking brand of football with plenty of passing and movement. Before coaching The Socceroos, Postecoglou coached the Brisbane Roar to a remarkable 37 game unbeaten streak, an Australian sporting record.
9. Postecoglou was only made coach late last year after the failings of ex-coach Holger Oseick.
10. The current Socceroos squad focuses on youth and the future, with a host of youngsters who have never before played for Australia selected.
Bailey Wright of Preston North End was mostly unheard of for a lot of Australian football fans before his selection in the World Cup squad.
11. But they’re also without some key players.
Injury stopped the selection of Socceroo hopefuls Trent Sainsbury, Rhys Williams and Robbie Kruse. Robbie Kruse in particular is a major blow.
12. The Socceroos are in a very tough group, up against Spain, the Netherlands and Chile.
Australia don’t really have an out-n-out rival, but there are a few teams that come to mind.
13. Italy is one, for already mentioned reasons.
Oh the pain of ‘06.
14. And Japan is probably Australia’s biggest rival in Asia.
The Socceroos are constantly clashing with the Blue Samurai in the Asian Cup.
15. Whilst England will always be a rival because of, y’know, the monarchy.
16. The heart of their squad this year will no doubt be Mile Jedinak. The powerful centre midfielder had an impressive EPL season with Crystal Palace and will hopefully bring his form into the World Cup.
17. Australia had a failed bid to host the World Cup in 2022. They lost to Qatar.
There were totally no suspect things going on behind closed doors that may have contributed to how the voting turned out…