As part of our countdown to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, we are profiling every Australian player who's been to a FIFA World Cup.
Today we continue the countdown with one of the unsung heroes of the Caltex Socceroos Brett Emerton, a warhorse on the right flank at the 2006 and ’10 tournaments.
Cap number: 433
World Cups played at: 2006, 2010
Position: Right-back/Right midfield
Age at World Cup: 27 in ’06, 31 in ’10 (now aged 39)
Clubs played for:
Sydney Olympic, Feyenoord, Blackburn Rovers, Sydney FC
Best World Cup moment:
Emerton was a key member of both campaigns he went to, starting all three group matches in both tournaments.
His energy, speed and work-rate down the right wing made him crucial to the side, with his best World Cup performance arguably coming in the come-from-behind 3-1 win over Japan in 2006.
That was Australia’s first-ever win at a FIFA World Cup and was the vital result in securing progression to the last 16.
Emerton unashamedly labels the 2005 qualifying win over Uruguay as the highlight of his career but he achieved plenty in his 18-years as a professional player.
As well as his success with the national team, Emerton got a UEFA Cup winners medal in 2002 after Feyenoord beat Inter Milan in the final (although he missed the match through suspension).
Emerton also got his name on the scoresheet in the Caltex Socceroos’ memorable 3-1 win over England in London in 2003.
After retiring in 2014, Emerton worked as an ambassador for Football Federation Australia for a couple of years. He also has a big interest in the property market.
Did you know?
Emerton was named the Oceania Footballer of the Year in 2002 after a stellar year for both club and country.