Daniel Arzani has impressed Bert van Marwijk enough in the A-League to make his preliminary World Cup squad. (AAP / SNPA: Ross Setford)
Daniel Arzani has been confirmed as the selection bolter for Australia’s preliminary 32-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Melbourne City wing prodigy Arzani has represented Australia at junior level but due to his heritage was also eligible to play for Iran.
Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk has looked to ensure Arzani’s future lies with Australia by naming him in his initial squad, which will be whittled down to 23 players by the eve of the World Cup in Russia.
Socceroos’ 32-man preliminary squad
- Brad Jones (Feyenoord), Mitch Langerak (Nagoya Grampus), Mat Ryan (Brighton), Danny Vukovic (Genk)
- Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F Marinos), Alex Gersbach (Lens), Matthew Jurman (Suwon Bluewings), Fran Karacic (NK Lokomotiva), James Meredith (Millwall), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney), Trent Sainsbury (Grasshoppers), Aleksandar Susnjar (FK Mlada Boleslav), Bailey Wright (Bristol City)
- Josh Brillante (Sydney FC), Jackson Irvine (Hull City), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa), Robbie Kruse (Bochum), Massimo Luongo (QPR), Mark Milligan (Al Ahli), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield), Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets), Tom Rogic (Celtic), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory)
- Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City), Tim Cahill (Millwall), Apostolos Giannou (AEK Larnaca), Tomi Juric (FC Luzern), Matthew Leckie (Hertha Berlin), Jamie MacLaren (Hibernian), Andrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamonds), Nikita Rukavytsya (Maccabi Haifa)
Arzani has enjoyed a prominent rise thanks to his domestic form for Melbourne City which has netted him the A-League’s young player of the year award.
The 26-man squad van Marwijk named for the March friendlies against Norway and Colombia was retained for the preliminary World Cup group, including captain Mile Jedinak and warhorse Tim Cahill.
Cahill will be aiming to become just the sixth player in history to appear and score in four or more World Cups, having made his bow in the 2006 event in Germany.
More to come.