Kewell seeks recognition on world stage - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kewell seeks recognition on world stage

By Ed Osmond 26/05/2006 12:18:18 PM Comments (0)

Australian forward Harry Kewell will never get a better chance to showcase his talents and prove his doubters wrong than at the World Cup in Germany.

The 27-year-old Liverpool winger is approaching his prime in a career that has occasionally sparkled brightly without convincing that he can perform consistently at the top level.

However, his form has improved dramatically in the second half of this season after a series of injuries and he has the potential to make a real impact in Germany.

Kewell joined Liverpool in 2003 from Leeds United but his burgeoning career stalled at Anfield following a succession of injury problems.

Kewell's commitment and professionalism were questioned during this period but manager Rafael Benitez, who took over in 2004, never lost faith in his player.

The Spaniard named him in the starting line-up to face AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final but Kewell suffered an injury and was substituted in the first half. Liverpool staged an extraordinary comeback from 3-0 down to lift the trophy.

Kewell has been a regular in the Liverpool side this season and he acknowledges his debt to Benitez.

"I'd have been left in a hole and faded away without him. To repay the manager I have to start scoring more goals for him and for the team," Kewell said.

"I want to do the things I know I'm capable of."

Those hopes could also be applied to Kewell's international career which has also spluttered along with just 20 appearances since he made his debut as a 17-year-old in 1996.

He scored in both legs of their World Cup playoff against Iran in 1997 but has managed only six goals for the Socceroos in total, a paltry return for a player with such a cultured left foot.

That limb has scored spectacular Premier League goals for Liverpool recently, notably against Tottenham Hotspur and in the Merseyside derby against Everton, but, typically, Kewell's World Cup preparations have been overshadowed by off-field controversy.

Australia coach Guus Hiddink has told his players he does not want them involved in commercial media arrangements during the tournament but Kewell has a long-standing contract with Channel Nine television.

The deal requires him to speak to the station at least three times a week.

However, Kewell knows his career is at something of a crossroads and he has been down too many wrong turnings to do anything to jeopardise his chances now.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news