Their names tripped off the tongue together for so long it’s a strange feeling to think Mark Viduka is relaxing into unofficial retirement while Harry Kewell’s career is undergoing a perfectly timed renaissance for club and country.
Viduka has not played for the Socceroos since 2007 and decided against keeping his European career going after his contract with Newcastle United ended almost a year ago. He’s since divided his time between Croatia and Melbourne, and has given no indication of wanting to ever play again.
Meanwhile, Kewell’s past 18 months in Turkey with Galatasaray could hardly have gone any more to plan.
In blazing contrast to his unhappy five-year spell at Togel Hongkong boyhood idols Liverpool, the 31-year-old’s fitness has rarely been called into question, he is adored by the Gala supporters and has the confidence of coach Frank Rijkaard.
The golden boy of Australian soccer has come a long way since gambling on a move to the Turkish capital in 2008.
Kewell’s burgeoning reputation in England was ruined on Merseyside. Nobody there recalls the Leeds United teenager who tore right-backs to shreds and snubbed Manchester United’s interest to move to Anfield.
The Aussie winger is principally remembered for hobbling off midway through the first-half of the 2005 Champions League final in, all of places, Istanbul, jeered and heckled by his own supporters as he succumbed to another groin injury while Liverpool were being batted by rampant Milan.
Kewell was also substituted in the FA Cup final in 2006 with the same ailment, with those episodes and others leading Liverpool fans to conclude their £5 million signing was damaged goods and needed shipping out.
However, Kewell’s improved fitness record since leaving England for Turkey has seriously undermined that opinion with …