Mark Schwarzer reveals referee's dig after being dropped at the 2006 World Cup

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The Aussie keeper was on the end of a pretty bizarre exchange with a less than sympathetic referee

After playing the Socceroos first two group games at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Mark Schwarzer found himself on the bench for a crunch clash against Croatia and the referee was less than kind about it.

The decision to play Zeljko Kalac in goal was a shock move by Guus Hiddink with Schwarzer in his prime, and the switch almost ended in disaster after his replacement made a number of mistakes with Australia just managing to rescue a 2-2 draw.

It made for humbling and horrifying viewing for Schwarzer, who revealed his own personal disappointment at being dropped was compounded by a bizarre pop from the match referee Graham Poll pre-game.

"My experience with Graham Poll was incredible because I'd been dropped for the game, warming up on the side of the pitch with the third keeper and Graham Poll's jogging around the pitch with his assistants," Schwarzer told BBC 5 Live Sport.

"I said to him 'Hi Graham, how are you going' and he looked at me and he went 'Been dropped have we?' and kept jogging.

"That whole time I was thinking I've been dropped, I'm not playing and the referee, who is English and I had referee games I'd played in, makes that comment and you feel like the littlest person on the pitch.

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"Then Graham makes a huge amount of mistakes in the game and I contemplated do I go up to him afterwards and say 'You know what, I was dropped for that game but I'll be back in, and you'll be on the plane home'.

"But I didn't, I left it at that."

A good call from Schwarzer, who would indeed be called upon for the Socceroos' controversial 1-0 loss to Italy in the knockout stages. 

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