Oceania is a region that is home to some of the best football players in the world. From the likes of Australian superstars Tim Cahill and Harry Kewell, to New Zealand’s Ryan Nelsen and Chris Killen, the region has produced some of the greatest footballers of the modern era.
These players have gone on to star for some of the world’s biggest clubs, as well as representing their countries on the biggest stages. In this article, we will take a look at some of the greatest footballers to have ever come out of Oceania.
1. Wynton Rufer
Wynton Alan Whai Rufer CNZM is a retired professional footballer from New Zealand. He was a prolific striker during his playing career, with his playing style being characterized by an eye for goal and clinical finishing.
He was the top scorer in both the German Bundesliga and the New Zealand Football Championship during his playing days and is widely regarded as one of the greatest strikers to have come out of New Zealand. Rufer began his career at the age of 15 when he joined the Mt.
Wellington Soccer Club in Auckland. He made his professional debut in 1983 with the Dutch club FC Twente and was quickly picked up by Werder Bremen in Germany, where he spent the majority of his career.
During this time, Rufer won the UEFA Cup with Bremen in 1992 and was named the German Footballer of the Year in 1995.
After retiring from professional football in 1999, Rufer returned to New Zealand to play for the Auckland Kingz in the New Zealand Football Championship. In addition to his playing career, Rufer has also had a successful coaching career, working with the New Zealand U-20 national team and the New Zealand Knights.
He is also New Zealand’s most capped player, having represented the All Whites on 94 occasions. In recognition of his contribution to New Zealand football, Rufer was awarded the CNZM (Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit) in 2008.
Overall, Wynton Alan Whai Rufer CNZM is one of the most successful and respected footballers to come out of New Zealand, and his legacy will continue to live on in the world of football.
2. Mark Viduka
Mark Antony Viduka is a former professional soccer player who represented Australia at the international level. He played as a center forward and was the captain of the Australia national team at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
This tournament was Australia’s joint-best performance to date, and Viduka played a major role in it. Viduka’s career also extended to the UEFA Champions League, where he scored four goals – the most scored by any Australian player in the competition.
This feat demonstrates his ability to perform at the highest level and his contribution to the game of soccer. His leadership qualities, both on and off the pitch, have been widely praised.
Viduka had a successful career, and his legacy remains with Australian soccer fans to this day. He is remembered as a leader and an inspiration, and his achievements will continue to be respected and celebrated for years to come.
3. Harry Kewell
Harry Kewell is a highly accomplished individual with a career in football that has spanned over two decades. He is an Australian association football coach, manager and former player.
Kewell began his football career in his native Australia, first playing for Marconi Stallions before moving to Leeds United in the UK in 1995. He went on to have an illustrious career with Leeds, Liverpool, Galatasaray and Melbourne Victory, among other teams.
His exploits earned him several awards, including the PFA Young Player of the Year and the Oceania Footballer of the Year. In 2014, Kewell ventured into coaching and management, taking up the position of head coach at Watford in the English Championship.
He left the club in 2016 and since then has had a number of managerial positions, including his most recent role as manager of English National League side Barnet. Kewell is currently a first team coach at Celtic, one of the most successful clubs in Scotland.
He is responsible for helping to develop the team’s young talent and to improve the overall performance of the club. With Kewell’s wealth of experience and knowledge in football, his presence at Celtic will undoubtedly be a boon to the team.
4. Ivan Vicelich
Ivan Robert Vicelich MNZM is an iconic former New Zealand professional footballer. He has become a symbol of excellence and success in his country, and the entire Oceania region, due to his remarkable career achievements.
With an incredible 88 caps between 1995 and 2013, Vicelich has earned the title of Oceania’s most-capped international of all time.
His career highlights include representing New Zealand at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, an event which he helped bring to the attention of his homeland and the rest of the region.
Vicelich’s success serves as an inspiration to aspiring footballers and athletes of all ages and backgrounds. He has proven that hard work and dedication to one’s craft can lead to incredible results and recognition.
5. Brett Emerton
Brett Michael Emerton is a renowned Australian footballer who has had a long and successful career. He started his footballing journey with Sydney Olympic and Sydney FC, before moving to the Netherlands to play for Feyenoord Rotterdam.
He then joined Blackburn Rovers, where he spent the majority of his playing career. He was also a key member of the Australia national team. Throughout his career, Emerton was known for his impressive speed, ball control and creativity.
He was an incredibly versatile player, being able to play both as a wide midfielder and a defender. His ability to move quickly and easily between positions was a huge asset to any team he played for.
Additionally, Emerton’s technical skills and decision-making ability on the field were second to none. Despite retiring in 2013, Emerton’s legacy as one of Australia’s greatest footballers lives on.
He is remembered for his impressive skill set, ability to adapt to different positions and his natural flair for the game. His performance for both club and country was nothing short of outstanding and he will undoubtedly remain an icon of the sport for many years to come.
6. Frank Farina
Frank Farina OAM is a highly accomplished footballer, both as a coach and as a player. He has represented Australia internationally as a forward for the Australian National Team and has also played in Europe for clubs in Belgium, France, Italy and England.
During his playing career, Farina was a major contributor to the Australian team’s success in the late 1980s and 1990s. After retiring from playing, Farina moved into management and served as the head coach of the Australian National Team in the early 2000s.
His coaching career has included stints at both the club and international level, with Farina managing teams in the A-League and the Oceania Football Confederation. He has also been involved in youth development, having previously coached the Australian U-20 Men’s National Team.
With a wealth of experience in both playing and coaching, Farina is renowned as one of Australia’s most successful footballers.
7. David Muta
David Muta is a Papua New Guinean professional footballer who is an integral part of both Hekari United and the Papua New Guinea national football team. He is a leader both on and off the pitch, having earned the honour of captaincy for both teams.
Muta has long been a key part of the Papua New Guinea football setup, having represented the country at various youth levels before making his full international debut in 2012.
His leadership and quality on the pitch has since seen him become an ever-present figure in the squad, earning the respect of both teammates and opponents alike.
He has gone on to become a key part of Hekari United’s success in both domestic and international competitions, having captained the team to the OFC Champions League title in 2020.
Muta’s commitment to the game has seen him become a true leader of Papua New Guinea football, inspiring countless young players to follow in his footsteps.
8. Robbie Slater
Robert David Slater OAM is an impressive figure in the world of sports. He is an Australian former professional soccer player and sports commentator. He began his career in 1982 as a midfielder and played until 2001.
During this time, he had a successful career, particularly in the Premier League for Blackburn Rovers. In 1995, he was part of the title-winning team, making him an integral part of the club’s success.
He was also awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in recognition of his accomplishments. Robert David Slater was not only an outstanding soccer player, but also an effective commentator.
He provided insightful commentary on various matches and tournaments, making him a valuable asset to the sport. His knowledge and expertise were respected by many in the sports industry.
After his retirement from professional soccer in 2001, he continued to support the sport by providing his commentary and analysis on various matches and tournaments. Robert David Slater OAM has had a lasting impact on Australian sports.
His contributions as both a professional soccer player and commentator have been invaluable. He is an example of someone who has dedicated their life to the sport and made a lasting impression.
His success in the Premier League, as well as his award of the Medal of the Order of Australia, are a testament to his hard work and dedication to the sport.
9. Bertrand Kaï
Bertrand Patrice Charles Kaï is a professional footballer from New Caledonia who plays for the local team Hienghène Sport and the country’s national team. He is a forward, a position that involves scoring goals and leading the offense.
Kaï is an impressive player who has made a name for himself in the football world. He is one of only two New Caledonians to be named Oceania Footballer of the Year, an award given to recognize outstanding footballers in the region.
This honor speaks to Kaï’s talent and dedication to the game and has earned him immense respect from his peers and fans alike. His success has inspired other New Caledonians to pursue their footballing dreams and has made him an example to many aspiring athletes.
10. Shane Smeltz
Shane Edward Smeltz is a professional football player from New Zealand. He is currently playing for Guiseley AFC in the Northern Premier League, which is the 7th tier of English football.
Smeltz began his football career in Australia, playing there for a number of years before making the move to England. He then went on to play for two and a half seasons in England before joining his current club.
Smeltz has had a successful career, playing for a number of teams in both Australia and England. He has represented his country at international level, appearing in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in 2006 and 2010.
He has also been awarded a number of individual honors, including the A-League Golden Boot in 2008, and the Johnny Warren Medal in 2009. Smeltz is a highly experienced and respected footballer, having played at the top levels of the game.
He is a powerful and skillful striker, who is capable of creating and scoring goals. His continued success at the club and international level shows his dedication and commitment to the game.
He is an integral part of Guiseley AFC’s team and his presence in the 7th tier of English football is a testament to his quality and ability.
11. Ryan Nelsen
Ryan William Nelsen ONZM is a well-known name in the world of professional football. He was born in New Zealand and has gone on to have a successful career in the sport. He began his professional career in 1995, and since then has gone on to become a respected defender.
He was even given the Order of New Zealand Medal (ONZM) for his contributions to the game. Nelsen has also had a successful tenure as a head coach. In 2013, he was appointed as the head coach of Major League Soccer side Toronto FC.
During his time at the club, he helped lead them to a playoff berth and was praised for his tactical approach. Overall, Nelsen has had a successful career in professional football.
He is a respected defender, has been awarded the Order of New Zealand Medal, and has been a successful head coach. His contributions to the sport have earned him a place in the hearts of many football fans.
12. Felix Komolong
Felix Komolong is a professional football player from Papua New Guinea. He currently plays as a defender for the Canterbury United team in the ASB Premiership.
On March 24, 2016, Felix made his debut for the Papua New Guinean national team in their 2-0 loss to the Solomon Islands. His performance was noteworthy despite the loss, and he has since become an important player for the team.
He is known for his aggressive style of play and his ability to read the game, making him a valuable asset in the back line. With his size and strength, he is also a threat in the air, making him a valuable asset in both defensive and offensive situations.
Felix is an important player for both his club and his country, and his presence will be greatly missed if he is unavailable for any matches.
13. Marama Vahirua
Marama Vahirua is a former professional footballer from Tahiti. He was a striker during his career and spent most of his time playing in France. His career ended in Greece when he signed with Panthrakikos F.C. in 2018.
After he retired from football, he took on the role of president of the Tahitian club A.S. Dragon in July of the same year. Vahirua had a successful career in France, where he played for numerous teams in the French Ligue 1 and Ligue 2.
He was known for his speed, agility and ability to score goals. He was also well-known for his technical skills and his ability to set up his teammates for scoring opportunities. During his time in Greece, he made several appearances for Panthrakikos F.C.
and contributed to their success. In July 2018, Marama Vahirua took on the role of president at A.S. Dragon, a Tahitian club. This was a major milestone in his career, as he became the first Tahitian to become president of a professional football club.
He has since been working hard to improve the club and its performance, and to ensure that the team is successful in the future. Vahirua has also been involved in numerous charity initiatives, with the aim of helping those in need in his home nation.
Marama Vahirua is an inspiring figure in Tahiti, and his career is a testament to the success that can be achieved when you dedicate yourself to your goals. He has achieved a lot in his football career and is now using his knowledge and experience to help others.
He is a great example of what is possible when you persevere and never give up.
14. Aurelio Vidmar
Aurelio Vidmar is a highly experienced and respected figure in the world of football. He is an Australian who has had a long and successful career as both a player and a manager.
As a player, he was captain of the Australian national team and played for various clubs over the years. As a manager, he has been in charge of both club and national teams. Most recently, he has been the manager of Bangkok United, a club in the Thai League 1.
He has also been the coach of the Australian U23 national team. Throughout his career, Vidmar has been recognized as a highly knowledgeable and successful manager, showing his commitment and dedication to the game.
His achievements have been widely praised and his experience and expertise have been invaluable in his many roles.
15. Paul Okon
Paul Michael Okon is a renowned former Australian soccer player who currently holds Belgian citizenship. He had the honour of captaining the Australian National Team and has also represented the Australian Olympic Football Team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
This impressive career in soccer began at the Marconi Stallions, a club in the National Soccer League (NSL) in Australia, where he established his career. Okon was a highly respected player for his skill and dedication to the sport.
He was known for his ability to work well as part of a team and his great leadership skills.
During his time with the Marconi Stallions, he was able to help the team achieve success, as they won the NSL championship in 1998. Okon was an important part of the Australian National Team and the Olympic team, as he was the captain of both.
As part of the Olympic team, he was an instrumental figure in helping the team to reach the quarterfinals of the 1992 Olympics.
He also has the honour of captaining the Australian National Team in several games, including the 1997 Confederations Cup, where he led the team to a third-place finish. Okon is a great example of a successful soccer career.
His feats as a player and a leader have been widely recognized and he has been able to achieve many successes throughout his career. His legacy as a soccer player will continue to live on and his achievements will be remembered for years to come.
The best football player in Oceania is a highly subjective matter that depends on individual preferences and opinions.
However, some of the most highly acclaimed footballers from the region include Australian players Tim Cahill and Harry Kewell, and New Zealanders Ryan Nelsen and Winston Reid.
All of these players have achieved success at the highest levels of the game, and have achieved great success with their respective clubs and countries.
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There is a curve in football which affects the trajectory of the ball. This curve, or “s-curve” as it is commonly referred to, makes the ball travel further than if it were round.
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