Mark Bresciano, one of Australia’s finest ever Socceroos, has retired from international football, leaving behind a legacy of excellence.
The 35-year-old called time on his national team career on Wednesday after 14 years of exemplary service which included three FIFA World Cups and two AFC Asian Cups.
While his momentous goals will stick longest in the memory, Bresciano has in recent years played a crucial role as a calming influence amongst a developing and often anxious side. His key midfield role was eventually inherited by Massimo Luongo throughout January’s Asian Cup triumph, a credit to the Melburnian’s longevity and tutelage. Regardless of the new crop’s success in attaining more silverware, ‘Bresc’ will forever remain one of the most central figures in Australian footballing history.
It’s an uneasy task to imagine, but the entire Golden Generation might have entirely passed us by without Bresciano’s most famous goal: restoring parity in the two-legged World Cup qualification playoff against Uruguay in 2005, an opportunistic effort which laid the platform for John Aloisi to later end 32 years of hurt.
That unforgettable effort is just one amongst a catalogue of super strikes in national colours and from a brilliant decade spent in Italy’s Serie A.
Goals alone don’t tell the whole tale of a playmaking attacking midfielder who possessed the kind of technical ability that’s become the cornerstone of Football Federation Australia’s junior development model. Fans, teammates, coaches and executives alike can only hope for more of Bresciano’s quality and professionalism set to follow.
With our caps doffed in admiration, we can sit and enjoy an outstanding individual’s finest performance to date: acting, in the lead-up to the 2006 World Cup.