Australians and Socceroos in the UEFA Champions League 2022/23

The 2022-23 UEFA Champions League will give a handful of Australians a chance to shine on one of football’s biggest stages.

Only one Australian has ever won the competition, with Harry Kewell holding that honor after he appeared for Liverpool in their dramatic triumph in 2004/05.

While the Socceroos are missing players from some of Europe’s top leagues, a number of them will play in the Champions League this season.

Australia will not only be represented on the pitch, for the first time a coach from the country will also be on the sidelines.

Ange Postecoglou (Celtic)

Former Socceroos manager Ange Postecoglou will make his UEFA Champions League debut with Celtic this season.

The Australian led the Hoops to the Scottish Premiership title in his first year at the club last season, which secured them their place back in Europe’s top competition.

Postecoglou experienced the Europa League and Conference League play-offs with Celtic last season and has an idea of ​​the challenge that awaits his side.

After losing his first two Europa League games, Postecoglou won three of his last four group stage games as the Hoops missed the knockout stage by a single point.

The 56-year-old had previous success in the AFC Champions League and will be joined by assistant manager Harry Kewell as he ventures into the UEFA Champions League for the first time.

Ange Postecoglou

Aaron Mooy (Celtic)

Celtic will also have an Australian player in the Champions League this season in Aaron Mooy.

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The Socceroos midfielder has never played in this competition before but is no stranger to playing against European heavyweights having spent three seasons in the Premier League.

Mooy is not expected to start many games for the Hoops this season, but likely more once the club start juggling multiple competitions.

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Maty Ryan (Copenhagen)

Another former Premier League regular, Maty Ryan, is reaping the rewards of an off-season move to Denmark.

The Socceroos goalkeeper joined FC Copenhagen in August after struggling for game time with Real Sociedad in Spain.

Ryan was immediately thrown in at the deep end by his new club, keeping a crucial clean sheet in Copenhagen’s final play-off game on August 25, which saw them qualify for the Champions League this season.

The 30-year-old has previously played with Valencia in Europe’s biggest competition and his return there comes in time for the 2022 World Cup in November.

Nikita Rukavytsya (Maccabi Haifa)

Like Ryan, Nikita Rukavytsya’s Maccabi Haifa have qualified for the Champions League via the playoffs this season.

Rukavytsya, now 35, returned to the Israel club in 2022 after five years previously.

The Aussie forward has been a prolific goalscorer for Maccabi over the years and will be hoping he gets a chance to score on the biggest stage.

While his age is against him, some strong performances in the Champions League could see Rukavytsya force his way back into the Socceroos team for the World Cup.

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Ajdin Hrustic (Eintracht Frankfurt)

After Ajdin Hrustic scored in Eintracht Frankfurt’s penalty shoot-out win in last year’s Europa League final, Ajdin Hrustic may or may not get a chance to play in the Champions League this season.

That’s because despite his heroic moment against Rangers, the midfielder has lowered the pecking order at Eintracht with reports suggesting he may find a new club before the transfer window closes.

But should he stay, Hrustic has proven he can handle the pressure of European football and could well force himself back into the competition.

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