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Mark Schwarzer
Mark Schwarzer
Mark Schwarzer
Date of Birth:Oct 6, 1972 (Age 41)
Place of Birth:Sydney
Nationality:Australia
Height:195 cm.
Weight:85 Kg.
Position:Goalkeeper
Squad Number:23
Europa League: Hanburger SV - FC Fulham, Mark Schwarzer (Getty Images)
Arguably the form goalkeeper in the Premier League over the past two seasons, Schwarzer has gone from Mr. Reliable to Mr. Miracle for both club and country in what has been a meteoric rise for his not inconsiderable star overseas. A big frame, sharp reflexes and continued ability to dominate in high stakes matches has made him Australia’s most important player over the past five years along with Tim Cahill (high praise indeed).

Schwarzer announced himself to the Australian football public in 1994 when he saved two spot-kicks in a two-legged match with Canada in the side's attempt to qualify for the World Cup in the USA, not part of the subsequent play-off defeat against Diego Maradona’s Argentina but certainly having provided a taste of the contributions that were to come later down the line in his career. Indeed, his biggest moment with the national team came in a famous penalty shootout victory over Uruguay in 2005, where he again saved two spot-kicks to secure Australia’s place at the 2006 World Cup in Germany for the first time in 32 years.

At the tournament itself Schwarzer didn’t quite cut the imposing figure that denied the South Americans during the qualifying stages and was, controversially replaced in the decisive final group game against Croatia by Zeljko Kalac. Reinstated for the last 16 clash against Italy following a high profile mistake from Kalac in the previous encounter, Schwarzer made a string of fine saves before being left powerless as Francesco Totti’s heartbreaking late penalty knocked Australia out of the tournament.

Since then – and in the wake of Kalac’s retirement from international football – the current Fulham goalkeeper has gone on to establish himself as his country’s undisputed No. 1, forging his reputation around his professionalism and consistency. He was an impassable figure as the Socceroos negotiated Asia for the first time on their way to qualifying for South Africa, his crucial last-minute penalty save away against China the highlight of an impeccable campaign.

Did You Know?

Mark Schwarzer has worn the same set of shin pads since he was 19 years old – they are preparing for their second World Cup.


Awards:

UEFA Cup: Runner-up 2006 (Middlesbrough)

League Cup: Winner 2004 (Middlesbrough)

League Cup: Runner-up: 1997, 1998 (Middlesbrough)

Fulham Player of The Year: 2008/2009

Australian Footballer Of The year: 2008/2009

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