Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak retires from international soccer

Mile Jedinak, who captained the Socceroos at two World Cups, has announced he will retire from international soccer.

The 34-year-old Aston Villa man announced his international retirement in a long statement on Instagram on Monday afternoon.

Jedinak skippered the Socceroos in Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018 and led the side to Asian Cup glory on home soil in 2015.

The defensive midfielder scored at both World Cups – once against the Netherlands in 2014 and once in each game against France and Denmark in Russia this year. All of those goals came from the penalty spot.

Speculation around Jedinak’s future with the Socceroos had swirled since Graham Arnold took over the national team coaching role earlier this year.

“After much deliberation I have made the decision to retire from playing international football,” Jedinak said.

“As a young boy growing up it was my dream to play for Australia and to pull on the famous green and gold shirt to represent my country. To have been given the opportunity to not only fulfil that dream, but to have done it 79 times, and many of which as captain, makes me incredibly proud and thankful.

“The feeling of captaining our country to Asian Cup glory in 2015, and to have been able to contribute to achieving success for Australia, will stay with me forever. Additionally being able to captain the team, and score, in two World Cups is something I could only have dreamed about as a boy.

"I have to say a special thank you to the Australian fans for believing in me and supporting me through thick and thin. I’ve tried to do you all proud every time I’ve stepped out on to the pitch. We have an exciting generation of players coming through and I now can’t wait to support the team in the future."

FFA CEO David Gallop said Jedinak was "a great role model for Australian footballers".

“The Hyundai A-League provided a springboard for Mile back into Europe, and through his determination, work-ethic, and skill, Mile has managed to achieve success at some of the highest levels of the game," Gallop said.

Arnold added his praise.

“Mile has been great leader for the Socceroos and great player for Australia,” Arnold said. “He is held in fantastic regard by his teammates, the coaches and staff that have worked with him, as well as the fans.”

“I congratulate Mile on a superb international career, and now look forward to seeing other squad members step up as Socceroos leaders after the international retirements of Mile and Tim Cahill,” he said.

He will retire as the only player to captain Australia at two World Cups and only the second player behind Tim Cahill to score at two World Cups.

Jedinak began his senior career at Sydney United after playing there as a junior. He broke into the A-League with the Central Coast Mariners in 2006 and secured a move to Turkey with Genclerbirligi in 2009.

Between 2011 and 2016 he spent time as captain of Crystal Palace in the English Premier League and Championship where he became a crowd favourite across 165 appearances.

At the peak of his powers with Palace he was one of the best interceptors and tacklers in the English Premier League.

Jedinak played 79 times for Australia and scored 20 goals. He first captained the country in 2014 against Ecuador in one of Ange Postecoglou’s early matches as Socceroos coach. Jedinak has held onto the role since then.

He made his full international debut in 2008 against Singapore.

He was selected and took part in Arnold’s first Socceroos squad, for a training camp in Turkey in early September.

The Socceroos' first game under Arnold will be on October 15 away against Kuwait, before two games in mid-November at home to Korea Republic and Lebanon.

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