Australia

Wing Wizard Harry Kewell Retires

Harry Kewell has made his final farewell down under after playing in his last game for Melbourne Heart against Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday in a tear filled day for the player. The match ended in a 3-2 defeat for Melbourne who finished this A League campaign routed to the bottom of the league. Not quite the ending that Kewell had planned. The Aussie has retired at the age of 35 after playing in a total of 513 appearances for club and country and scoring 124 goals. He is the most popular footballer in Australia and is known as the country’s finest footballing export and in 2012 was named their greatest player but fans, fellow players and the media.

Kewell is one of Australia's most capped players  (Image from Getty)
Kewell is one of Australia’s most capped players
(Image from Getty)

His career was rife with injuries but he was successful both for club and country where he won the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool and scored the goal against Croatia which sent the Socceroos’ into the knock out stages of the FIFA World Cup in 2006. Kewell spent the best share of his career in West Yorkshire with Leeds United where he played 181 matches for the club from the wing and scored 45 goals between 1996 and 2003. He then moved to Liverpool for a fee of £5 million but the deal was tarnished by speculation that £2 million of the sum went to Kewell’s unregistered agent according to Gary Lineker. Kewell went on to sue the current Match of the Day host but no verdict was made. He was entrusted with the famous number 7 shirt worn by Vladimir Smicer. The winger scored a number of goals for the Reds including a stunner against Spurs in 2006.

Kewell's time at Liverpool was ravaged by injuries (Image from PA)
Kewell’s time at Liverpool was ravaged by injuries (Image from PA)

After spending over a decade in England, Kewell moved away to broaden his horizons as he moved to Galatasaray where he won the Turkish Super League in his first season. This was then followed by moves to Melbourne Victory and AL Gharafa before he returned to Melbourne to play for Heart.  Speaking after his resignation, the former Australian captain said:

“It been very tough. It’s a sport I’ve only ever known. I started when I was four years old, professionally when I was 17 and I’ve been playing for 18 years now. It’s a life I have already lived and now I get a chance to live another one. I do wonder what if I hadn’t had those injuries and what would have been but I believe that this path has been set out for me and I think it has made me a better person. I have been at the highest level in football but I have also been at the lowest level and I understand where the good and the bad comes from. “

Australia have qualified for another World Cup but are the lowest ranked team in the competition but Kewell still believes it will be an exciting event.

“I can sit back and enjoy it. There was obviously going to be questions asked about the World Cup but I haven’t been part of the squad in a while so for me it was time for the young players to stand up and be counted. I think Ange Postecoglou (National team manager) is doing a wonderful job and I think they will surprise a lot of people.”

To see Harry’s goal against Spurs and many more, click here  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQKgLR1X4-k

Post by Richard Waterhouse

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