With the international break winding down and the return of the Premier League, we are wrapping up our mini-series ranking obscure footballing nations and their top 5 Premier League players. This time it's Australia and, despite a relative lack of talent in the league currently, plenty of Premier League stars have come to these shores from Down Under.
5. Lucas Neill
Although not one of the players on this list with the flashiest highlights, Neill was as consistent as they come. He played 9 leagues in the top flight starting in 275 out of the 279 games he played. Neill epitomised the Aussie battler - not the most technically gifted, but played hard and tough - exactly what you want out of your right back.
Unfortunately, there are not many scoring highlights in Neill’s career, but this tackle on Jamie Carragher does a good job in summing up the type of player he was.
4. Mark Viduka
Viduka made a name for himself at Leeds United where he netted 59 Premier League goals across 4 seasons. When it was all said and done, Viduka ended his time in the top flight with 92 games - the most of any Australian. Viduka was an old-school type of player, who used his big frame to hold up play and set himself and his teammates up. He was the prototype striker who had great touch and could score with both feet and his head.
One of Viduka’s best performances came against Liverpool where he scored four goals and led Leeds to a 4-3 victory despite having been down 2-0 at one point in the match.
3. Mark Schwarzer
It seemed like Schwarzer was in and around the Premier League forever. And that’s because he was playing 19 seasons and 514 games - the first non-English player to play 500 games in the Premier League. He was best-known for his time at Middlesbrough and Fulham but also had short stints at Chelsea and Leicester. In his last appearance in the top flight, for Leicester, Schwarzer was 43 years old!
Although he pulled off plenty of great saves in the Premier League, Schwarzer became a household name in Australia after making two unbelievable saves in the penalty shoot-out against Uruguay in 2005 to qualify Australia for the World Cup in 2006. It was the first time Australia had qualified in 32 years!
You can find the second save at 6:15.
And if you watch to the end, it is a great example of what football can mean to a country. The celebrations are wild (it’s as if they won the World Cup!)
2. Harry Kewell
Kewell was probably Australia’s most talented player on this list. He was extremely creative and had great touch. He made a name for himself at Leeds and then transferred to Liverpool. However, his time at Liverpool was marred by injuries and he never became the player that Australians thought he would become. Although, he did win a Champions League trophy with Liverpool and remains the only Australian to have done so.
1. Tim Cahill
He might not have had the same skill as some of the other players in this list, but he made a big impact in the Premier League. An Everton fan favourite, Cahill was their main man up front for 8 seasons. Everton bought him from Millwall for only £1.45million in 2004 - an absolute bargain.
Cahill was known for his powerful headers, knack for scoring in the Merseyside derbies and assaulting corner flags. When all was said and done Cahill ended with 56 goals for Everton, putting him second on Everton’s Premier League scoring list.
Although not a highlight from his time in the Premier League, this goal is too good not to showcase.
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