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Lucas Edward Neill Player Profile

Lucas Edward Neill Player Profile
Lucas Edward Neill
Date of Birth:Mar 9, 1978 (Age 39)
Place of Birth:Sydney
Nationality: Australia
Height:186 cm.
Weight:76 Kg.
Squad Number:23
Lucas Neill, Australia (Getty Images)
Despite making his debut for the Socceroos at the tender age of 18 (the country’s second youngest senior international, behind Harry Kewell) it took Neill until the 2006 World Cup to establish himself as a true superstar of Australian football. During the group stages of the tournament the centre-back produced arguably the best football of his career, as instrumental in getting the Socceroos out of the group stages as he was in the two legs against Uruguay that helped Australia scrape into the tournament itself.

What he lacks in pace Neill has made up for in tenacity and strength, an outstanding man-marker and strong tackler. His ball-playing skills have gradually improved as he has matured, as has his positioning (compensating for ageing legs that make him far less mobile than he was four years ago). It is as a leader though that Neill has been able to grow most conspicuously, captaining the national team following the retirement of Mark Viduka.

Despite not having settled at club level since his slightly controversial move to West Ham in 2007, Neill has never allowed criticisms of his club career choices affect the level of his performance for the national team: he remains Pim Verbeek’s most important defender thanks to his organizational qualities and presence on the pitch.

Did You know?

When Neill broke the leg of Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher, the latter gave his mates permission to “hunt down” the Aussie before calling them off at the last minute.