Popovic off to World Cup

Last updated : 10 May 2006 By Nik Taylor

Tony Popovic has been named in Australia's 23-man squad for this summer's World Cup.

The 32-year-old central defender has been a regular foe the Aussies over the years, earning more than 50 caps, and he and his team-mates will hope to cause an upset by progressing from Group F.

The Socceroos face a tough challenge to achieve that goal, with Brazil, Japan and Croatia lining up as their opposition in the group.

However, they will take heart from the fact that coach Guus Hiddink has got to the last four in the previous two World Cups with Holland (1998) and South Korea (2002).

Full Australia squad

Mark Schwarzer (Middlesbrough), Zeljko Kalac (AC Milan), Ante Covic (Hammarby)

Michael Beauchamp (Central Coast), Craig Moore (Newcastle United), Lucas Neill (Blackburn Rovers), Tony Popovic (Crystal Palace), Mark Milligan (Sydney FC)

Marco Bresciano (Parma), Tim Cahill (Everton), Scott Chipperfield (Basel), Jason Culina (PSV Eindhoven), Brett Emerton (Blackburn Rovers), Vince Grella (Parma), Stan Lazaridis (free agent), Josip Skoko (Stoke City on loan from Wigan Athletic), Mile Sterjovski (Basel), Luke Wilkshire (Bristol City)

John Aloisi (Alaves), Harry Kewell (Liverpool), Archie Thompson (PSV Eindhoven), Mark Viduka (Middlesbrough), Josh Kennedy (Dinamo Dreseden)