Harry Kewell named Australia's best ever footballer at gala awards

The former Leeds and Liverpool forward beat a host of names to win, also claiming a place in his country's greatest XI alongside three other current Socceroos

Harry Kewell has been named Australia's greatest-ever footballer at a gala event in Sydney on Thursday.

The former Leeds United and Liverpool attacker has appeared at two World Cups for the Socceroos [2006, 2010] and was given the honour following an extensive voting process involving fans, fellow players and pundits.

The Greatest Ever Australian Footballer awards also named the finest starting XI, with current Socceroos  goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, Tim Cahill [at left midfield] and defender Lucas Neill [right-back] also chosen.

Retired defender Craig Moore [centre-back] was also named with all five having featured in the past two World Cups together.

Fan favourite Mark Viduka [striker], Kewell's former Leeds team-mate, was named as the centre forward.

Kewell, who was named as the left-sided forward, thanked the public for their vote of confidence despite being unable to attend the event.

"It's an incredible honour to be named the Greatest Ever Australian Footballer," Kewell said.

"I'm humbled by the award and very grateful, especially given that the public have had such a say in the final result and the number of great footballers this country has produced over the years.

"To be named amongst such great players in the Greatest Ever Australian Team, both past and current, is something I will never forget."

The late Johnny Warren [right midfield], Ray Baartz [right forward], Alan Davidson [left-back], Ned Zelic [centre midfield] and Joe Marston [centre-back] were also named.

In excess of 15,000 public votes were received, while a panel of current and former players, administrators and commentators helped to determine the winner.

Former Netherlands and Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink was named the Socceroos' greatest coach, having guided the side to the knockout stages of the 2006 World Cup in Germany for the first time.

Matildas captain Cheryl Salisbury was selected as the greatest female player, after a career in which she made 151 appearances for Australia.