Jedinak says captaining Socceroos at World Cup is career highlight

The Crystal Palace midfielder is one of Australia's senior contingent and is ready to lead his team out against Chile in Cuiaba
Mile Jedinak says leading Australia out at the World Cup will be the best moment of his career.

The Crystal Palace midfielder impressed in the Premier League last season but believes his club career pales in comparison to captaining the Socceroos against Chile in Cuiaba.

"The game is going to mean the world to me," he said. "It's something I'm not going to forget in a hurry and I'll try and make it a special moment for sure."

Jedinak came within minutes of completing a full 38-game club season for Palace before an injury late in the final game of the campaign against Fulham forced him off. The 29-year-old insists he is fully fit to marshall the Australian midfield alongside Mark Bresciano, though.

"We're all at different stages [of fitness] but we're all coming together as one," he said. "We had plenty time before the tournament to get ourselves right. It's just about managing certain things but I'll be ready to go tomorrow."

Bresciano, a veteran of two previous World Cups, had been struggling with injury but the team's preparations in Brazil have brought the 34-year-old up to speed.

"He's trained really well," said Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou. "He's recovered after training sessions really well. He's really looking forward to it. He's got that steely look in his eye. Physically, he's ready to go."

Postecoglou has overseen an enormous transition in the playing ranks during his short time in charge after replacing Holger Osiek in October but he insists that his inexperienced team are ready for the challenges ahead against three teams he considers benchmarks in Group B; Chile, the Netherlands and Spain.

"We're playing three very strong football nations," he said. "They are three countries that play football in a positive manner. That's the kind of football we want to play. There's going to be some fantastic football played in this group and we're going to play our part in that.

"[Our] first goal is tomorrow's game. The first game in major tournament is the important one. It's a massive challenge, but the players are ready for it.

"Chile are very good team and they feel they can make a real impact at this tournament."

Australia, at 62 in the Fifa rankings, are seen as outsiders in a group containing the 2010 World Cup's finalists and genuine contenders Chile. "If you look at the rankings, people would see us as outsiders," the coach said.

However, Jedinak believes that the team's extensive preparations will stand them in good stead.

"Chile are an exceptionally strong unit and their form is very good," he said. "It's a massive challenge. We have to be on our game.

"It's been three or four weeks since we started preparing, We can't wait to get out there tomorrow. We're looking forward to it."