New Australian football coach Pim Verbeek is trying to convince Australian captain and Newcastle United striker, Mark Viduka, to play a role in Australia’s qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.
Mark Viduka – time to retire from International football?
The Dutchman arrived in Sydney today to start his contract to get Australia to the South African World Cup in 2010, and said only Viduka, among Australia’s sizable European playing contingent, had yet to decide on his World Cup plans. The skillful Newcastle United striker has been hinting he may concentrate on his club football, and weâ€™re sure Big Sam is helping him with that. 😀
But Verbeek, not surprisingly, sees great value in the 32-year-old striker for Australia’s World Cup cause, and is hopeful Viduka will play some role in the World Cup campaign.
Verbeek said today:
“If you are good enough to play for Newcastle United, then you are good enough to play in the national team of Australia,”
“I don’t care about Viduka’s age — I only want to win the game (against Qatar) and every game to qualify for the World Cup.”
Verbeek is the former South Korean national coach, and he has spoken with Viduka over the phone to outline his vision for the Australians.
“I have had a good conversation with him, he is just coming back from injury and he played a whole game last Saturday which I saw on television,”
“I think he played quite well but he says he is still a little bit struggling from the last Asian Cup with not enough rest and holidays.”
Verbeek said he would not be asking Viduka to play all of Australia’s minimum 14 World Cup qualifiers, but he hoped he would play in at least some of them.
“He is still a dangerous striker and an experienced striker, and if he can still bring something to the team, I will try to convince him that it is necessary for him to play.”
“Viduka is the only one who is still considering what he is going to do for February 6.â€ “I told them (the European-based players) that in coming months I will find out what is the best solution to win the game against Qatar,”
If we were Verbeek, we would probably be doing the exact same thing and trying to get one of the best-ever Australian players to play in the next World Cup. But Viduka does not have a lot of time left at the top, and he may want to think of finally retiring from International football. That will help him greatly, with both his injuries and his career at Newcastle United.
Yes, it may be selfish and from a Newcastle viewpoint, but we think itâ€™s probably the best thing for Mark Viduka.
What do you think? Let us know – comments always very welcome.