Mark Viduka

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Mark Viduka
Mark Viduka 2005 WCQ.jpg
Viduka playing for Australia in 2005
Personal information
Full name Mark Anthony Viduka
Date of birth (1975-10-09) 9 October 1975 (age 39)
Place of birth Melbourne, Australia
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1992–1993 AIS
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1993–1995 Melbourne Croatia 48 (40)
1995–1998 Dinamo Zagreb 84 (86)
1998–2000 Celtic 37 (30)
2000–2004 Leeds United 130 (59)
2004–2007 Middlesbrough 72 (26)
2007–2009 Newcastle United 38 (7)
Total 409 (258)
National team
1993–1995 Australia U20 20 (37)
1994–1996 Australia U23 18 (17)
1994–2007 Australia 43 (11)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 09:12, 14 August 2009 (BST).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12:00, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Mark Anthony Viduka (Croatian pronunciation: [ˈʋiduka][lacks tonal diacritics]; born 9 October 1975) is a retired Australian football player who played as a centre forward. He captained the Australian national team at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany to the last 16. He holds the record of most goals scored by an Australian in the prestigious UEFA Champions League competition with four.

Club career[edit]

Melbourne Croatia[edit]

Mark Viduka started his career in Australia with the Croatian-Australian club Melbourne Croatia in 1993 and became an Australian international in June of the following year. In his two seasons with Melbourne Croatia, he was top goal scorer in the National Soccer League (NSL) and was twice awarded the Johnny Warren Medal for NSL Best Player of the Year[1] in 1993–94 and 1994–95. Viduka's time at Melbourne Croatia included one NSL title in the 1994–95 season.

Dinamo Zagreb[edit]

In 1995, Viduka moved to Croatia to play with Croatia Zagreb (now called Dinamo Zagreb). The grandstand at Knights' Stadium, home of Melbourne Croatia, was renamed the "Mark Viduka Stand" in his honour and paid for with his transfer money.

He spent three-and-a-half seasons with the club, helping them to win three Doubles in Croatia between 1996 and 1998. He was also part of the Croatia Zagreb team that reached the third round of the UEFA Cup in 1997 and went on to make his UEFA Champions League group stage debut with the club a year later.

Celtic[edit]

Celtic bought Viduka in December 1998 for £3.5 million. In the same month as his signing, Celtic announced that Viduka had quit the club without kicking a ball for them, citing stress as his reason.[2] A week later, Croatia Zagreb complained that they had not received their fee for the player. These issues were eventually resolved and Viduka made his first appearance in a Celtic shirt on 16 February 1999, scoring for the under-21 team as an over-age player in a 4–2 victory against Motherwell. After making his first team debut against Dundee United on 27 February 1999,[3] his first goals for the club came when he scored a brace against Morton in the Scottish Cup on 8 March 1999.[4] He was voted Scottish Player of the Year for 1999–2000 after scoring 27 goals in his first full season at Celtic Park. He was regarded as a skilled player, with fellow Australian Croatian Josip Šimunić noting his ability to hold the ball up well and bring other players into the game.[5]

Leeds United[edit]

Leeds United manager David O'Leary signed Viduka just before the 2000–01 season for £6 million. At Leeds, he was expected to line up in a three-pronged attack alongside the previous season's top scorer Michael Bridges and Australia teammate Harry Kewell, but injuries to those two saw him form a partnership with Alan Smith in Leeds UEFA Champions League matches, while Robbie Keane, signed on loan from Internazionale as cover for Bridges, also benefited in their Premier League matches together in the second half of the season. In his first season, Viduka scored 22 goals, including all four in a memorable 4–3 win over Liverpool at Elland Road. He signed a five-year deal in the summer of 2001 and would star in both domestic competitions and Europe, with Leeds finishing in the country's top four in 2000/01, and fifth in 2001/02.

In the 2002–03 campaign, Viduka scored another 22 goals, including a hat-trick in a 6-1 win at Charlton Athletic[6] and the winner in a 3-2 victory at Arsenal on the penultimate day of the season that effectively saved United from relegation. His hat-trick in the Charlton game is the most recent hat-trick to date by a Leeds United player in the Premier League.[7]

However, the club's financial crisis continued, and resulted in the sale of key players including Harry Kewell and Robbie Keane. In the 2003/04 season, Viduka was again top scorer at Leeds, finishing the season strongly as was the case in the previous season, as interim manager Eddie Gray attempted to steer the club away from the Premier League trap door following the departure of Peter Reid in November after eight months as manager.

However, despite Viduka's best efforts, scoring vital and winning goals in both March and April, it was on the first weekend of May, during his final appearance in the jersey, that Leeds would be consigned to relegation, in a 4-1 loss to Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium, where the striker was sent off following two yellow cards and at a point in the game where his team were leading 1-0 due to a penalty converted by Viduka himself.

He was sold to Middlesbrough in the summer of 2004 as United's financial difficulties deepened.

Middlesbrough[edit]

Viduka's debut season at Middlesbrough was initially impressive, albeit frustrated by injuries. In the 2005–06 season, however, Viduka was in sensational form in all competitions for Middlesbrough, reaching double figures early on in the season. He also played an important part in spearheading Middlesbrough's campaign in the UEFA Cup where they twice had to score four goals in a game to proceed. They eventually lost in the final to Spanish side Sevilla on 10 May 2006.

With his contract due to expire at the end of the 2006–07 season, Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate expressed his interest in keeping Viduka. In August 2006, he was awarded the number 9 shirt at Middlesbrough, his preferred number at all his previous clubs. Following another successful season in which he scored 19 goals, Viduka attracted interest from other clubs who were hoping to sign him on a free transfer as he became out-of-contract. Southgate reiterated his wish to retain Viduka's services and revealed he would offer him a new contract. Viduka joined north-east rivals Newcastle United on a free transfer on 7 June 2007.[8] He did this because he is a lifelong supporter of Collingwood Football Club and he wanted to play for a team nicknamed the Magpies and wore Black and White vertical stripes.[9]

Newcastle United[edit]

Viduka warming up for Newcastle

In signing for Newcastle United, Viduka became manager Sam Allardyce's first signing at the club. His contract was for two years, with the option of a third year.

He made his Newcastle debut in a Premier League match at Bolton Wanderers on 11 August, and scored his first goal on 26 August against his former club Middlesbrough.

On 23 September, he scored a further two goals against West Ham United to bring his tally up to three for Newcastle. On 23 December, he again scored two goals against Derby County. After an injury lay off over the new year, Viduka was brought back into the side by new manager Kevin Keegan, where he played as part of a 4–3–3 formation along with Michael Owen and Obafemi Martins. This new formation brought about a change of fortune for Newcastle as the three strikers rescued them from a relegation battle, with Viduka scoring two more goals over the rest of the season and setting up others for Martins and Owen before picking up an Achilles' heel injury before the last game of the season.

He made his return to the first team after six months out injured at former club Middlesbrough, coming on for Martins as a substitute on 29 November 2008. This was a great relief for manager Joe Kinnear, who stated that he had previously feared the Australian's career might have been prematurely ended by his injury woes.[10] Later, Kinnear suggested to reporters that Viduka might call time on his career at the end of the 2008–09 season. However, Viduka later expressed his desire to continue playing past this season after acquiring a groin injury in late December.[11] After returning from injury,he was immediately used by newly appointed coach Alan Shearer in an attempt to prevent the team's relegation. After playing a man of the match performance in the 3–1 victory against his former team Middlesbrough, Mark appeared to have scored his first goal of the season against Fulham. However match referee Howard Webb ruled that Kevin Nolan impeded goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer disallowing the goal. He was released following Newcastle's relegation.

International career[edit]

Viduka began captaining the Australian national team in September 2005, in place of the injured Craig Moore, the regular captain. Viduka thrived under Guus Hiddink's tenure as coach of the national squad and led Australia as it qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany over a two-leg qualifier against Uruguay, the first time in 32 years that Australia qualified to participate in the event. On 21 May 2006, he was named as the Australian captain for the World Cup.[12]

Viduka also led Australia's national team to their first World Cup Finals victory with a 3–1 win over Japan in June 2006, as well as guiding them through an encounter with Brazil, losing 2–0, and a controversial bout with Croatia, ending with a 2–2 draw. He then led Australia into the second round, where they lost their round of 16 match to Italy. Although a regular scorer in the Premier League, Viduka has struggled to score any significant goals for the "Socceroos," and the 2006 World Cup was no different.

Viduka considered retiring from international competition after the 2006 World Cup, citing increasing family commitments as the primary reason. However, in September 2006, he confirmed that he would continue playing for Australia and intended to compete in the 2007 Asian Cup.[13] In a friendly against Singapore, a week before the start of the Asian Cup, Viduka scored two headed goals in a 3–0 victory for Australia; Harry Kewell scored the third. It was the second time he scored two goals in an international match, having previously done so against the Solomon Islands in 2005.

On Australia's first ever Asian Cup participation, Viduka captained the side and he scored their solitary goal against Iraq, a game which they ultimately lost 1–3. In the next match, he scored two goals against co-host team Thailand, defeating them 4–0; other goals scored by Michael Beauchamp and Harry Kewell and making them fall out of the remaining competition. At one stage, he led the goalscoring at the Asian Cup tournament, although his team was eliminated in the quarter-finals in a penalty shootout against Japan. Subsequent to that loss, question marks hang over whether Viduka will continue his international career.[14][15] Two years on from the 2007 Asian Cup, he was still yet to return for the Socceroos, either stating he had injuries or club commitments. He missed World Cup Qualifiers against Qatar, Bahrain, and Japan, even though fully fit and asked to play by Socceroo manager Pim Verbeek. Questions were raised over his commitment to the national team, even by other members of the squad.[16] Viduka was not selected in the final squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, having retired from football a year previously.

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Melbourne Knights

Dinamo Zagreb

Celtic

International[edit]

Australia

Individual[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Viduka and his Croatian wife Ivana have three sons together: Joseph (born 2002), Lucas (born September 2006) and Oliver (born May 2008). They live in Melbourne.[18] His father, Joe, was also from Croatia, from where he emigrated to Australia in the 1960s.[19]

He had a song written about him by English singer/songwriter and Middlesbrough fan Alistair Griffin (who also previously co-wrote the football song recorded by Terry Venables). The song lyrics were written to the tune of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah".[20] Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate embraced the tune as a way of raising money for his chosen charity, Macmillan Cancer Support. Leonard Cohen has now given permission for the song to be released as a charity download single.[21] Viduka is a member of Melbourne Heart Football Club, and has been since their inaugural season. He is affectionately referred to by his nicknames "V-Bomber"[22] and "Big Dukes"[23] in Australia.

Career stats[edit]

Club career[edit]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club Charlton Athletic League App Gls App Gls App Gls App Gls App Gls
1992–93 Melbourne Croatia NSL 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2
1993–94 20 17 2 1 0 0 0 0 22 33
1994–95 24 29 3 6 0 0 0 0 27 35
1995–96 Croatia Zagreb Prva HNL 27 31 2 0 0 0 0 0 29 43
1996–97 25 29 3 2 0 0 2 3 30 27
1997–98 25 23 5 2 0 0 4 6 37 40
1998–99 7 2 0 0 0 0 2 2 9 4
1998–99 Celtic SPL 9 5 2 3 0 0 0 0 11 8
1999–00 28 25 1 0 4 1 4 1 37 27
2000–01 Leeds United Premier League 34 17 2 1 1 0 16 4 53 22
2001–02 33 11 1 1 1 1 7 3 42 16
2002–03 33 20 4 2 1 0 2 0 40 22
2003–04 30 11 1 1 0 0 0 0 31 12
2004–05 Middlesbrough 16 5 2 0 1 0 4 2 21 7
2005–06 27 7 5 2 2 1 9 6 43 16
2006–07 29 14 7 5 1 0 0 0 37 19
2007–08 Newcastle United 26 7 2 0 0 0 0 0 28 7
2008–09 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 0
Career Totals 409 202 37 26 11 3 50 27 507 258

International career[edit]

[24]

Australia national team
Year Apps Goals
1994 2 0
1995 0 0
1996 0 0
1997 10 2
1998 2 0
1999 0 0
2000 2 0
2001 3 0
2002 0 0
2003 3 1
2004 2 0
2005 7 3
2006 6 0
2007 6 5
Total 43 11

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 1 October 1997 Stade El Menzah, Tunis, Tunisia  Tunisia 0-2 0-3 Friendly
2 12 December 1997 King Fahd Stadium, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia  Mexico 1-0 3-1 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup
3 19 August 2003 Lansdowne Road, Dublin, Republic of Ireland  Republic of Ireland 0-1 2-1 Friendly
4 3 September 2005 Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney, Australia  Solomon Islands 2-0 7-0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
5 3-0
6 9 October 2005 Craven Cottage, London, England  Jamaica 3-0 5-0 Friendly
7 30 June 2007 National Stadium, Singapore City, Singapore  Singapore 0-1 0-3 Friendly
8 0-3
9 13 July 2007 Rajamangala National Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand  Iraq 1-1 1-3 2007 AFC Asian Cup
10 21 July 2007 Rajamangala National Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand  Thailand 0-2 0-4 2007 AFC Asian Cup
11 0-3

References[edit]

  1. ^ Player Of The Year Awards – OzFootball, accessed 8 July 2006 Archived 27 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Viduka rejected Celtic". BBC Sport (bbc.co.uk). 10 July 2004. Retrieved 6 May 2008. "Viduka enjoyed a successful spell at Parkhead, despite a rocky start which saw him walk out four days after signing due to stress." 
  3. ^ "Celtic 2 Dundee United 1". Sporting Life. 27 February 1999. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  4. ^ McKinney, David (8 March 1999). "Viduka goals send Celtic cruising through". London: The Independent. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  5. ^ http://www.theroar.com.au/2010/12/09/viduka-to-be-honoured-with-alex-tobin-medal/
  6. ^ "Leeds thrash Charlton". BBC News. 5 April 2003. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "Viduka makes switch to Newcastle". BBC Sport (bbc.co.uk). 7 June 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2007. 
  9. ^ "Pie-eyed". 
  10. ^ http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11095_4596801,00.html Sky Sports – "Kinnear feared for Viduka"
  11. ^ http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11095_4682429,00.html Sky Sports - "Viduka aims to play on"
  12. ^ AAP (21 May 2006). "Viduka named Socceroos captain". The Age (Melbourne: Fairfax Media). Retrieved 21 May 2006. 
  13. ^ AAP (26 September 2006). "Viduka pledges to play on for Australia". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 7 May 2007. 
  14. ^ "Viduka faces Australia decision", BBC, 23 July 2007
  15. ^ "Viduka mulls over Australia decision", Australian Broadcasting Corporation news website, 23 July 2007; [2]
  16. ^ "Viduka must commit: Schwarzer", Fox Sports, 19 June 2009
  17. ^ Australian Institute of Sport 'Best of the Best' </
  18. ^ "Viduka leaving his mark". Herald Sun (News Limited). 5 February 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  19. ^ The Away Game by Matthew Hall, pag. 45
  20. ^ "Hallelujah Mark Viduka". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). 27 February 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2007. 
  21. ^ "Alistair Griffin produces song for Middlesbrough star". Broadband TV channel. 1 March 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2007. 
  22. ^ "V-Bomber". OzFootball Webzine. 
  23. ^ "Mark Viduka Player Profile for Newcastle United". Newcastle United. 
  24. ^ Mark Viduka at National-Football-Teams.com

External links[edit]