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Icon’s challenge to Albo after Socceroos epic

Craig Foster has implored Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to launch a “national agenda” on the back of the Socceroos’ sizzling FIFA World Cup campaign.

The former national captain insists Australian football must capitalize on the momentum generated by the team in Qatar, where the Socceroos secured two wins at a World Cup for the first time and reached the round of 16 for the first time since 2006.

After slumping to a tournament-opening 4-1 defeat to France, Australia bounced back with a 1-0 win over Tunisia and a 1-0 victory over Denmark—the nation ranked 10th in the world.

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The Socceroos then gave Lionel Messi’s Argentina a mega shock in a 2-1 loss on Sunday morning (AEDT), in which 18-year-old Garang Kuol had a scoring chance in the final minute.

Foster was asked how Australia should go about taking advantage of the brilliant World Cup campaign on 2GB’s Wide World of Sports radio.

“I think by asking Australia the question, and this starts with government, it starts with premiers … we saw live sites in all of the states. So all of the state governments, the territories and Albo and every MP saw what the game did for Australia by bringing us all together in all our multicultural beauty … by asking everyone a question, and particularly the governments … that is: do you want to finally win these tournaments?” Foster said.

“(We’re) statistically very close to the most successful and greatest sporting nation on earth. There’s a strong argument that we are.

“This is the holy grail for us. This is the last great sporting challenge for a great sporting nation.

“Now, do we want to win them or not?

“And if we want to win these things then we need a national agenda. We need as a country to say, ‘We want to go win these things in the same way we’ve decided in the past that we think Olympic medals are important “. Well, these World Cups — this is the holy grail of global sport, so a national agenda is the start. So I’d be saying to Albo, ‘Listen, mate. Let’s make a statement here. Let’s make a plan for let’s say 20-30 years’ time’. That’s what it’s going to take.”

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The next edition of the World Cup, to be held in 2026, will take place in the USA, Mexico and Canada.

It remains uncertain if Arnold will lead the Socceroos in the 2026 World Cup because he’s yet to be offered a new contract, but captain Mat Ryan has led calls for the loveable mentor to be rewarded with a fresh deal.

“I’ll tell you what: it’s going to be a hell of a journey in that time when we make quarter-finals, semis and then a final,” Foster added.

“Let’s plan to win this.

“And then we can talk about the practical realities. Graham Arnold is talking about a centre, a home of football. Of course that’s important because we need to innovate. We need to be smarter than every country around the world. That’s very easy to say and that’s very difficult to do, but we need ingenuity, we need to be better with data, we need to analyze every young player, we need to look at our training, we need to train a new generation. we need to do.

Australia can one day win the World Cup

“But the thing is we just need to decide as a country and ask that question: ‘Do we want to win these things?’.

“The game has done a fabulous job in many respects … basically on its own in what’s a very packed market.

“But now we’re competing against countries who as a nation are saying, ‘This is important to us’. Germany are saying, ‘We want to win these for our country’.

“And so when Australia decides that’s the case, then I think we’re going to take a big step forward.”

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