Football 3 years ago

WC inclusion earned Roos respect: Aloisi

  • WC inclusion earned Roos respect: Aloisi

Ten years after netting his historic penalty goal, John Aloisi admits Australian domestic football still has a long way to go.

But he believes the Socceroos' drought-breaking qualification for the 2006 World Cup provided an immeasurable boost for the country's reputation on the international stage.

Aloisi was the protagonist in one of Australia's most famous sporting moments when he scored the Socceroos' winning penalty in the second leg of their play-off with Uruguay, sending his success-starved nation to a first World Cup in 32 years.

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The Brisbane Roar coach has experienced both joys and pitfalls since November 16, 2005.

His time in the A-League, including his sacking as a rookie manager from Melbourne City's struggling predecessor Melbourne Heart, tells him Australia has much more growing to do.

Ratings and attendance issues aside, the near-destructive financial problems the Roar suffered during Aloisi's first off-season at the helm were a clear sign the domestic competition still sorely lacks the monetary might of the European outfits he played for during his 20-year career.

"Domestically football definitely has to go a lot further and we're on that journey now, but I think it has come a long way in the 10 years," Aloisi told AAP.

He said the biggest flow-on affect from that memorable night at Sydney's Telstra Stadium was the respect Australia's national team drew from all over the world.

It's a respect that has continued to this day thanks to three successive World Cup appearances in Germany, South Africa and Brazil.

"We needed to qualify for a World Cup, we knew that would give it an extra boost," Aloisi said.

"It showed not only here in Australia what we can do in terms of getting people behind the Socceroos and the national team, it also showed the rest of the world that we can play.

"We gained respect that way, and since then you know that people do respect us in terms of football around the world.

"Let's hope in 10 years we're talking about a special night where we're trying to win a World Cup. That's what our next goal has to be."

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