League of Nations: Schwegler, Noone and Co. prove Hyundai A-League’s global appeal

The global mix of players in the Hyundai A-League has been one of the features of the competition since its inception in 2005/06.

From as far afield as Afghanistan and Algeria to Uruguay and the USA, there have been players from 65 countries that have featured in the Hyundai A-League over the last 14 years.

The 2018/19 campaign saw 243 players across 30 different nations feature for the Hyundai A-League’s 10 clubs.

Every year, more and more players from abroad are coming to the Hyundai A-League to ply their trade in front of appreciative audiences across Australia and New Zealand. 

The mix of different football styles and cultures is one of the attributes that has seen the Hyundai A-League go from strength to strength.

And next season is set to continue a similar theme, with several new faces from around the globe already confirmed to be heading Down Under.

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Western Sydney Wanderers have been among the biggest movers of the off-season so far, bringing in three new imports to the competition.

Polish midfielder Radoslaw Majewski was confirmed for Markus Babbel’s side last week, joining Swiss pair Daniel Lopar and Pirmin Schwegler.

Daniel Lopar
New Wanderers recruit, Swiss gloveman Daniel Lopar

Schwegler, an experienced midfielder who was playing in Germany’s Bundesliga last season, said the opportunity to move across the globe and experience a new adventure made it an easy decision to join Wanderers.

“For me, an opportunity had arisen to fulfil a lifelong dream,” Schwegler said on the website of his former club, Hannover 96.

“I got the opportunity to live for a while in Australia and it was an opportunity that I did not know would come again.”

England has long been a destination for Hyundai A-League clubs looking to bring in talent, with the likes of Robbie Fowler, Emile Heskey and Michael Bridges all starring in the competition over the years.

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Melbourne City added another player to that list on Monday, signing former Premier League winger Craig Noone from English League One club Bolton Wanderers.

"I know a few players in Australia and know the quality is good,” Noone said of his decision to continue his career at City.

“I'm expecting it to be physical and fast-paced and can't wait to step out in front of the fans for the first time at AAMI Park.”

With plenty of transfer activity still to come, the myriad of different nations set to light-up the Hyundai A-League next season is only set to increase.