Melbourne Victory FC
Melbourne Victory Football Club is an Australian professional soccer club based in city centre of Melbourne, Victoria. Competing in the country's premier competition, the A-League, under licence from Football Federation Australia, Victory entered the competition in the inaugural season as the only Victorian-based club in the newly revamped domestic Australian league. Recognised as the most supported and the most successful club in the league to date, Victory has won four A-League Championships, three A-League Premierships, one Pre-Season Challenge Cup and one FFA Cup, the only club to have won all four domestic trophies in the modern era of Australian soccer, they have previously competed in the AFC Champions League on six occasions with the 2019 campaign confirmed to be the seventh occasion. Their furthest placement in the tournament was the 2016 campaign, where they were knocked out in the Round of 16. Although Victory are supported across the whole Melbourne metropolitan area, as well as regional cities in the state, it is based in the city centre.
The club's home ground is the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, playing a majority of home matches at the venue, with the larger Docklands Stadium utilised for matches such as derbies and finals. As well as this, the club has an agreement to play a single match at Kardinia Park in Geelong every season; the club operates two other football departments, with youth & reserves team competing in the National Youth League and National Premier Leagues Victoria 2 and a women's team competing in the W-League. The NYL/NPL, W-League home matches are played at various locations across Melbourne, including Lakeside Stadium, Kingston Heath Soccer Complex as well as the senior team's various venues. Melbourne Victory's club colours are navy blue and silver, which encompass the traditional state sporting colours of Victoria; the home kit consists of a navy blue shirt with a chevron which fades from white at the bottom to navy blue at the top, paired with navy blue shorts and socks. The away kit is all white, with the shirt featuring a yoke consisting of a design reminiscent of the clubs home ground AAMI Park, set inside an off-centre chevron.
In the Victory's inaugural A-League season, only the club badge displayed a chevron, known colloquially as the "Big V", a symbol traditionally used by the Victoria Australian rules football team. From the 2006–07 season the away strip was changed to a grey shirt with a white chevron on the front; this was an immediate hit with the club's supporters, from the 2007–08 season onwards Melbourne's home shirt sported the white chevron on the front. A new kit was introduced for the 2008 AFC Champions League due to AFC rules requiring kits to have player numbers on the front of the uniform as well as the back, which would not fit well with the'V' on the Victory's regular kit. For the 2009–10 season, Melbourne changed their away shirt to be a reverse of their home shirt. In 2010, Melbourne wore the TAC'seatbelt' shirt against Perth Glory in a charity event to raise awareness for the necessary use of seat belts in cars. Adidas were announced as the club's official kit manufacturer for five years beginning in the 2011–12 season, after the initial deal for Reebok to supply all A-League clubs had expired.
The new kits were announced via the club's YouTube channel, featured a controversial change to a fluoro yellow away shirt. For their 2013–14 kits, Melbourne Victory received backlash from supporters, as the away kits featured a much lighter blue, bearing a large resemblance to fierce rivals Sydney FC. A number of different songs have become synonymous with Melbourne Victory, being both sung by supporters and played over the PA at different moments before and after games. "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King; this is sung as the team enters the pitch prior to kick-off, with fans holding their scarves above their heads throughout. "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes. The chorus melody is chanted as a goal celebration, with fans waving their scarves in the air as they sing, it has been adapted as a player chant for striker Besart Berisha. "Victory The Brave", a rearrangement of Scotland The Brave, penned by Jim Keays of The Masters Apprentices. This has long been played after every home win, but has been criticised by fans for sounding too much like a song for an AFL team, rather than something more traditionally seen in football.
"The Horses" by Daryl Braithwaite. Beginning in the 2015–16 season, members of the South End started singing The Horses after a win, as an alternative to Victory The Brave. Although something of a joke, it has gained traction with some supporters, is now played over the PA system at the conclusion of Victory The Brave. Melbourne Victory plays the majority of its home games at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, known as AAMI Park. Games considered to be "blockbusters", which include derbies and finals matches, are played at the larger Docklands Stadium, known as Marvel Stadium; the club currently plays one league match a season at Kardinia Park in the neighbouring city of Geelong. The football club was based at the 50-year-old Olympic Park Stadium, where they played all home matches during the 2005–06 A-League season; this stadium had seated areas only on the wings, with standing-room sandy terraces on the north and south ends. The average crowd during the first year was 14,158, 77% of its capacity of 18'500.
As a result, the match-day atmosphere would prove to be a marketing asset not just for Melbourne Victory, but for the rest of the league. It proved to be a major factor in the club's decision to relocate home games to Docklands Stadium known as'Telstra Dome', from the 2006–07 season onwards, for both safety reasons, and
Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Western Sydney Wanderers Football Club is an Australian professional soccer club based in the Western Sydney region of Sydney, New South Wales. It competes in the country's premier soccer competition, the A-League, under licence from Football Federation Australia; the club has established itself as a major force in both Australia and Asia, having won one A-League Premiership and an AFC Champions League title in its short history. Formed in April 2011 by FFA, Wanderers was established with a strong community focus. A series of community forums across Western Sydney helped choose the club's name and colours, as well as its culture and playing style; the club's record-breaking inaugural season won them an A-League premiership and saw the club reach the 2013 A-League Grand Final. The club followed that up by contesting the 2014 A-League Grand Final and securing second place in their second season of the league; the club was crowned Asian Champions in their debut Champions League season, becoming the first Australian side to win the tournament.
The club is run from a facility based in Blacktown, plays matches at Stadium Australia and Sydney Showground Stadium while waiting for the new Western Sydney Stadium to be completed. Their foundation home ground of Parramatta Stadium was closed & demolished in 2017 as part of process for building the new stadium. An academy youth team competes in the National Youth League and the National Premier Leagues NSW. A women's team competes in the W-League; the youth and women's matches are played at various locations across Western Sydney, including Marconi Stadium, Campbelltown Stadium and Cook Park. The club has a Powerchair Football team which competes in the NSW Western Division Powerchair Football League, with matches played at Kevin Betts Stadium in Mt Druitt; the Western Sydney region was regarded as a potential location for one of the founding A-League clubs in 2005 intended to be the base for Sydney FC. When Sydney FC put forward their bid to participate in the inaugural A-League season, Football NSW desired for the club's home ground to be Parramatta Stadium in Western Sydney.
Though after winning the A-League licence, Football Federation Australia Chairman Frank Lowy forced a number of changes to the bid. The main of these were in moving the club to Sydney Football Stadium in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney and reducing Football NSW's involvement from 100 to 25 percent. Frank Lowy’s son, David Lowy, was installed as a major investor. In response, Football NSW made the decision to pull out its involvement with Sydney FC amid claims the A-League club had become a "plaything" for Frank Lowy and his family. Football NSW stated its dislike of Lowy's autocratic style in establishing the club and the perceived lack of consultation on key club issues. An unsuccessful bid named "Sydney Blues", which had proposed to play at the Sydney Football Stadium was the only other Sydney-based bid. Sydney FC entered the A-League with a five-year city exclusivity deal as part of the league's "one-city, one-team" policy, preventing the establishment of another Sydney-based club until the deal expired.
By 2008, as the five-year deal wound to its conclusion, FFA announced its intention to expand the A-League, with a second Sydney-based club a favourable option. FFA received 10 expressions of interest. Despite the unsuccessful attempt to establish a Western Sydney-based team in the form of Sydney Rovers, FFA were still committed in pursuing a club in the region; the catalyst for the formation of the Western Sydney Wanderers was FFA revoking Gold Coast United's A-League licence on 29 February 2012. After a series of running battles between FFA and Clive Palmer – owner of Gold Coast United, over topics such as crowd control, stadium attendance capacities and breaches of A-League regulations; the loss of Gold Coast United brought the league down to nine clubs, one fewer than what FFA needed for their upcoming television rights negotiations. On 4 April 2012 FFA CEO Ben Buckley announced the creation of "New Sydney Club" based in the city's west to play in the A-League; the new club would be set up to compete in the 2012–13 season, though despite several attempts by FFA to find a backer to own and run the club no individual owner or consortium of owners decided to take on the new Sydney club.
With the October deadline approaching, FFA decided to push through the club by taking on the ownership role themselves. This was helped by securing $4 million from the Australian Government in a grant for the creation and ongoing costs of the club; as notable Australian soccer players Scott Chipperfield, Tim Cahill and Lucas Neill expressed their support for the Western Sydney-based club, so did the local soccer community, with FFA holding supporter forums in Mount Pritchard, Rooty Hill, Castle Hill and Bankstown, where community members discussed such topics as the club's values and culture, playing style, home ground, proposed names and colours. Following the community forums, FFA launched an online survey to decide on various options for the new club, it covered similar aspects of culture, team colour and playing style. A final survey was launched with a specific focus on the club's colours and name. Options for team colours were black and red and white, red and black. Options for the team name were Athletic, Wolves and Rangers.
On 17 May 2012, former A-League head Lyall Gorman was appointed Chairman of the as yet unnamed club. Tony Popovic was announced as the inaugural head coach of the Western Sydney team. Popovic joined the club
AFC Asian Cup
The AFC Asian Cup is an international association football tournament run by the Asian Football Confederation. It is the second oldest continental football championship in the world after Copa América; the winning team becomes the champion of Asia and until 2015 qualified for the FIFA Confederations Cup. The Asian Cup was held once every four years from the 1956 edition in Hong Kong until the 2004 tournament in China. However, since the Summer Olympic Games and the European Football Championship were scheduled in the same year as the Asian Cup, the AFC decided to move their championship to a less crowded cycle. After 2004, the tournament was next held in 2007 when it was co-hosted by four nations: Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. Thereafter, it has been held every four years; the Asian Cup has been dominated by a small number of top teams. Successful teams included South Korea and Iran. Since 1984, Japan and Saudi Arabia have been the most successful teams, together winning 7 of the last 10 finals.
The other teams which have achieved success are Qatar, Australia and Kuwait. Israel won in 1964 but were expelled and have since joined UEFA. Australia joined the Asian confederation in 2007 and hosted the Asian Cup finals in 2015; the 2019 tournament had been expanded from 16 teams to 24 teams, with the qualifying process doubling as part of the qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Unlike other confederation tournaments, the Asian Cup has been rescheduled to another time of year to better suit the climate of the host nation, for example in 2007 it was played in July but the following three tournaments were played in January. Two years after the Asian Football Confederation came into being in 1954, the first AFC Asian Cup was staged in Hong Kong with seven of the 12 founding members taking part; the qualifying process involved the hosts plus the winners of the various zones. It was only a four-team tournament, a format that existed for 1960 and 1964; each sub-confederation hosts their own biennial championship, each with varying degrees of interest.
Dominance has swung between the West so far. From the superiority of South Korea in the early years of the competition, the tournament became the preserve of Iran who won three consecutive tournaments in 1968, 1972 and 1976. West Asian countries dominated in the 1980s with Kuwait becoming the first Middle East country to win the championship in 1980, followed by Saudi Arabia's consecutive wins in 1984 and 1988. Japan hold the record for the most victories in the tournament's history, having won in 1992, 2000, 2004 and 2011; the 2007 Asian Cup saw Australia compete for the first time, reaching the quarter-final stage. At the 2019 Asian Cup, the video assistant referees were used in the tournament for the first time, as well as an expansion to 24 teams. In addition, a fourth substitution was allowed during extra time. There have been two Asian Cup trophies; the first trophy came in a form of a bowl with circular base. Its weighs 15 kilograms; until the 2000 tournament, the black base contained plaques engraved with names of every winning country, as well as the edition won.
The trophy reduce the black base to just a thin layer down. This base was plaque-free and the winner names were engraved around the base. During the draw for the 2019 group stage on 4 May 2018 at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, an all new trophy made by Thomas Lyte was unveiled, it is 78 centimeters tall, 42 centimeters wide, weighs 15 kilograms of silver. The trophy is modeled over a symbolically important aquatic Asian plant. Five petals of the lotus symbolize the five sub-confederations under the AFC; the winner names are engraved around the trophy base, separable from the trophy's main body. This trophy has a handle on each side, unlike its predecessor. Since 2019, the final tournament is played in two stages: the knockout stage. In the group stage each team plays three games in a group of four, with the winners and runners-up from each group advancing to the knockout stage along with the four best third-placed teams. In the knockout stage the sixteen teams compete in a single-elimination tournament, beginning with the round of 16 and ending with the final match of the tournament.
* hosts1 Israel was expelled from the AFC in the early 1970s and became a member of UEFA.2 as Republic of China3 as South Vietnam Despite being the second oldest continental football tournament, the AFC Asian Cup has suffered numerous criticisms. Criticisms over the inability of the AFC Asian Cup to attract large attendances, political interferences, high costs of traveling between AFC member states and different cultures were highlighted over the Asian Cup; the AFC Asian Cup is marked with numerous political interferences. This was the case of Israel, as the team used to be a member of the AFC but following Yom Kippur War and increasing tensions against the Arab AFC members, Israel was expelled from the AFC in 1974 and had to compete in OFC until being granted UEFA membership in 1990. Meanwhile, similar cases exist in other AFC tournaments like the case between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Following the 2016 attack on the Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran, Saudi Arabia has rejected playing with Iran and threatens to withdraw if the AFC refuses to follow, extended it to international level.
Shanghai Greenland Shenhua F.C.
Shanghai Greenland Shenhua Football Club, is a professional Chinese football club that participates in the Chinese Super League under licence from the Chinese Football Association. The term shen hua translates as "the Flower of Shanghai" in English – shen is one of the alternative names of Shanghai and hua means flower in Chinese; the team is based in Kangqiao and their home stadium is the Hongkou Football Stadium, which has a seating capacity of 33,060. Their current majority shareholder is Chinese developer Greenland Group who took over the operation of the club when they bought the 28.5% share from previous majority shareholder Zhu Jun on 31 January 2014. The club's predecessor was called Shanghai F. C. and they predominantly played in the top tier, where they won several domestic league and cup titles. On 10 December 1993 the club was reorganised to become a professional football club so they could play in the 1994 Chinese Jia-A League season making them one of the founding members of the first professional top tier league in China.
Since they have won the 1995 league title along with the 1998 and 2017 Chinese FA Cup. According to Forbes, Shenhua are the 6th most valuable football team in China, with a team value of $106 million, an estimated revenue of $29 million in 2015. Shanghai Shenhua's predecessor was called East China, a team name used as far back as 1910 for the football in the multi-sport event Chinese National Games; the local Shanghai government sports body decided to use this name for their new club founded on 1 November 1951 to take part in China's first nationalized national football league tournament where they finished second in the league that year. The football league expanded and the team were allowed to name themselves after their own province of Shanghai in 1957. Soon afterwards by 1961, Shanghai started to establish themselves as a major football team within China when they won their first league title; this was quickly followed by their second league title in 1962, however in 1966 because of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, football in China was halted and Shanghai were unable to play.
When football returned in China, Shanghai were able to return to the top tier, however they were unable to regain any of the dominance that they had shown and were relegated in 1980. Though they were able to be promoted in the following season, they spent many years without winning any titles until Wang Houjun led them to win the Chinese FA Cup in 1991, their first trophy in 29 years. Throughout the 1990s, the Chinese Football Association were demanding more professionalism from their football teams and while many were semi-professional, Shanghai would be one of the first when they gathered sponsorship from Yu Zhifei and the local company named Shenhua on 10 December 1993, founding Shanghai Shenhua; this saw Shanghai hire their first professional manager in Xu Genbao, the previous China national team manager in 1994. The move would see Shanghai win the second professional football league title by the end of the 1995 league season; when Xu left, Shanghai attempted to bring in several foreign coaches to add more experience to the team, however few achieved any success despite being close on several occasions, except for Muricy Ramalho's brief spell when the club won the 1998 Chinese FA Cup.
By the end of 2001, the Shenhua group ended their sponsorship of the club and were replaced with SVA and the Shanghai Media & Entertainment Group. The club changed its name to Shanghai Shenhua SVA SMEG Football Club; the team however remained unique as it still retains "Shenhua" in its name, whereas many other teams drop the name of their former sponsors completely. On the pitch, the club would take over Shanghai Cable 02, a youth football team set up by Xu Genbao while bringing in a new manager in Wu Jingui, who built a new squad predominantly using many from the Shanghai Cable squad and despite struggling in his debut season, he was able to win the league title in 2003. Critics would dispute the legitimacy of the title win after it was discovered in 2011 that the referee Lu Jun was bribed by the head of the CFA's referee arrangements, Zhang Jianqiang, to be biased towards Shenhua in a vital match against Shanghai International in a game that Shenhua won 4–1. Lu Jun and Zhang Jianqiang were both charged with match-fixing, while Shenhua's general manager Lou Shifang was discovered to be the person who orchestrated the bribes.
Despite this indiscretion, the club was spared any disciplinary action. The reason provided by the CFA at the time for the leniency was that they would be punishing the individuals who put the game in disrepute and not the club. On 18 February 2013 The CFA would decide to change its mind on Shenhua and retrospectively decided to punish the club by revoking its 2003 league title, fining the club with 1 million Yuan and giving a 6-point deduction at the beginning of the 2013 Chinese Super League season after it was discovered that they fixed another game against Shaanxi Guoli en route to winning the 2003 league title. In 2007, the owner of inner-city rival of Shanghai United, Zhu Jun and his company The9 Limited bought a majority share of Shanghai Shenhua and began to merge Shanghai United into Shanghai Shenhua, his first act was to replace the successful existing head coach Wu Jingui with Shanghai United's Osvaldo Giménez. The appointment was to prove disruptive
Australia national under-23 soccer team
The Australia national under-23 soccer team represents Australia in international under-23 soccer and at the Olympic Games. The team is controlled by the governing body for soccer in Australia, Football Federation Australia, a member of the Asian Football Confederation and the regional ASEAN Football Federation since leaving the Oceania Football Confederation in 2006; the team's official nickname is the Olyroos. Australia's first two appearances in the Olympic Games saw the senior men's team participate, but in 1992 the eligibility was restricted to players under the age of 23, while in 1996, it was decided to allow teams to choose three over-age players in the final Olympic squads; the team has represented Australia at the Olympic Games on five occasions, in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008. The team represented Australia at the AFC U-22 Championship tournament in 2014 and has qualified for the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship; the Australian national under-23 team made its international debut in 1967, when it took part in a triangular tournament against New Caledonia and New Zealand in Nouméa.
Australia lost its first game 2–1 on 6 November, won its second 1–3 on 10 November, with Gary Manuel supplying goals in both games. The team would next played eighth years in 1974, in a tour of Indonesia, sponsored by the Australian Government. During the tour, coached by Eric Worthington, won all three match against the host nation, it would be another 16 years before the team competed in international competition of any kind. In August 1990, Australia played a series of friendly matches in Europe under coach Eddie Thomson; the first against Switzerland ended in a 0–0 draw. The second match was played against the League of Ireland XI, ended in a 2–2 draw, with goals from Gary Hasler and John Gibson. Australia's final match was lost 2–0 against Czechoslovakia. Arguably Australia's most successful Olympic football tournament, the squad coached by Eddie Thomson contained just two overseas based players: KV Mechelen striker Zlatko Arambasic and Club Brugge midfielder Paul Okon, as the rest of the squad hailed from NSL clubs.
The squad saw Mark Bosnich, John Filan, Tony Vidmar and Tony Popovic, most Ned Zelic, who had single-handedly gotten the Olyroos to Barcelona with a sensational double strike in the second leg play off against the much admired Dutch team, take part before commencing their successful careers in Europe. Drawn with Mexico and Ghana, the Olyroos would take on the Africans in Zaragoza in their first round fixture. An early goal on 12 minutes, a long range free kick by Mohammed Gargo set the tone for Ghana as they held onto that lead until the 83rd minute when it was extended to 2–0 by Kwame Ayew. Ayew grabbed another on 89 minutes before Tony Vidmar scored a consolation goal for Australia on 91 minutes to bring the score to 3–1. John Filan was dropped after this game after coming under heavy criticism for failing to put up a wall for Ghana's first goal, the green Mark Bosnich was brought in, cementing his spot in the side for the Olympics. Two days in Barcelona, Zlatko Arambasic opened the scoring after 20 minutes as Australia lead Mexico 1–0 until the 63rd minute when Jorge Castañeda leveled the tie at 1–1, the game would finish this way which meant that Australia would need to win their last group stage game to proceed to the knock-out stages.
The Olyroos put in a performance worthy of note as the entire team began to fire on all cylinders, winning 3–0 against Denmark to book a spot in the quarter-finals. The game saw one first half goal by John Markovski and two second half goals thanks to Damian Mori and Tony Vidmar. Australia and Ghana progressed to the knock-out stages where Australia were tied to play against Sweden in Barcelona. In front of 30, 000 spectators at the Camp Nou, John Markovski put Australia ahead after 30 minutes. A 53rd-minute strike by Shaun Murphy put the Olyroos 2–0 up until Patrik Andersson scored one back for Sweden on 62 minutes; the game stayed at 2–1 and the result sent the Olyroos to the semi-finals where they would face Poland. At the Camp Nou in front of 45,000 spectators, Poland struck on 27 minutes, taking the lead after a goal from Wojciech Kowalczyk. Australia, hit back on 35 minutes when Adelaide City striker Carl Veart equalised. Just before half time though, Mark Viduka lashed out at a Polish defender, earning himself a straight red card, leaving the Australian's a man down against a Polish side who were technically gifted all over the park.
Poland came to life in the second period, putting on a dazzling display of soccer and scoring five goals in the process, which saw a hat-trick from Andrzej Juskowiak and an own goal from Shaun Murphy, to take out the game at 6–1. In the Bronze Medal game, Australia would meet up with group stage outfit Ghana, who took the lead when Isaac Asare scored after 19 minutes and winning the game 1–0, the result left the Olyroos to claim fourth spot at the tournament, as Spain would finish in first place after beating Poland 3–2. Eddie Thomson took a young squad to the United States, which included Aurelio Vidmar and Steve Horvat as the overaged players, the squad was combined of 7 overseas players out of the 18 men squad. A young Mark Viduka was in his second year at Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia and Kevin Muscat had just signed with English Premier League club Crystal Palace. Drawn into Group B with European heavy weights Spain and France, as well as Saudi Arabia, the Olyroos would lose 2–0 to France in their opening clash thanks to goals from Robert Pires and Florian Maurice, as Australia's Danny Tiatto saw a red card just after 24 minutes.
A 2–1 win over Saudi Arabia earnt the Olyroos their first 3 points of the campaign. Peter Tsekenis scored a
John Aloisi is a retired Australian association football player and former manager of A-League club Brisbane Roar. In a professional career that spanned 20 seasons, with league totals of 459 games and 127 goals, he was the first Australian to play and score in La Liga, the Premier League and Serie A, he returned to Australia with four seasons in the A-League. Aloisi was an integral member of the Australia national team for more than a decade, represented the nation at the 2006 World Cup, being an essential figure in the qualifying stages, he appeared for the Socceroos in two Confederations Cups. A former striker, Aloisi was described as a goal poacher, able to "hold the ball up well and create opportunities for his teammates." Born in Adelaide, Aloisi arrived in Europe aged 16. He did not appear in any official games for the club, played sparingly for his next team, fellow top division outfit Royal Antwerp FC. In November 1995, Aloisi signed for Italian side US Cremonese. On the 25th, after only two minutes on the pitch, he scored in a 2–1 home win against Calcio Padova, becoming the youngest foreign player to score in a Serie A match.
The Lombardy team suffered two consecutive relegations, he left the club. Aloisi arrived in English football early in the 1997–98 season, signing for Portsmouth in the Division One, under the chairmanship of Australia national football team manager Terry Venables, he scored 12 goals in his first season in England as Portsmouth narrowly avoided relegation, bettering that total to 13 in the following campaign. On 17 December 1998, Aloisi moved to the Premier League with Coventry City, who paid £650,000 for his services, he made his Sky Blues debut in a 1 -- 1 home draw against Derby County. Aloisi scored twice in a 4–1 win against Aston Villa at Villa Park, Coventry's first away victory in the league against their Midlands rivals. Starting in the next game, against Charlton Athletic, he was sent off for punching Danny Mills, receiving a considerable ban.. For Portsmouth and Coventry combined, he finished the season with 18 goals. Coventry were threatened with relegation during Aloisi's time at the club, went down at the end of the 2000–01 season after a 34-year top flight stay, with Aloisi scoring just three times.
He scored a hat-trick against Preston North End in the season's Football League Cup – 4–1 home win, 7–2 on aggregate). In June, he was allowed to leave Highfield Road, came close to signing for Crystal Palace, but nothing came of it. In 2001, Aloisi moved to Spain, he scored nine goals in 30 games in his first season in La Liga, being used during his four-year spell in Navarre. On 11 April 2004, he played the full 90 minutes in a 3–0 away win against Real Madrid and, on 11 June of the following year, he netted in the Copa del Rey final, equalising in an eventual 1–2 extra time loss against Real Betis. After a move to Panathinaikos F. C. collapsed, Aloisi signed for Deportivo Alavés, on a free transfer. He scored ten goals in 2005–06, his best Spanish total, but the Basque team suffered top flight relegation. On 20 October 2007, it was announced that Aloisi had signed with the Central Coast Mariners FC for the remainder of the season; the team was able to not include his wages in the salary cap due to a loop hole relating to injured players.
He made his debut in the A-League on the 28th in a 2 -- 3 defeat. On 3 March 2008, after failing to re-sign with the Mariners, Aloisi penned a two-year deal with Sydney FC, for an undisclosed fee reported to be $1.4 million a season, making him the highest-paid player based in Australia in any of the four football codes. He made his debut as a second-half substitute against Perth Glory FC at the Sydney Football Stadium, scored his first goal for Sydney in a 2–0 upset win over archrivals Melbourne Victory FC. On 18 February 2009, 33-year-old Aloisi was linked with a loan move to Shanghai Shenhua F. C. in China. He soon decided against the deal, opting instead to spend the entire pre-season with Sydney FC, under the club's new coach Vítězslav Lavička, he scored twice in a friendly with the Newcastle United Jets FC, started repaying the faith the team had in him by scoring a double in a 3–2 win against North Queensland Fury FC in Townsville, in the first game of the season. On 29 March 2010, Melbourne Heart FC signed Aloisi on a free transfer.
He impressed at the new club and scored eight goals, including three against rivals Melbourne Victory, both the first goal in a Melbourne derby, a brace which equalised the game at 2–2 after the Heart had been 2–0 down. On 12 February 2011, he played the final game of his career against former team Sydney FC, in the last round of the A-League season and being replaced by in the 83rd minute by Kristian Sarkies, to a standing ovation from the home crowd. Aloisi made his debut for the Australian national team in 1997. In that year, he was selected to the FIFA Confederations Cup, scoring in a 3–1 group stage win against Mexico for the eventual runners-up. After representing Australia at the 2004 Summer Olympics as one of the three overage players, scoring three goals in an eventual quarterfinal exit, Aloisi finished second in the scoring charts at the 2005 Confederations Cup, netting braces against Germany and Argentina as the Socceroos did not manage one single point in three games. On 16 November 2005, Aloisi scored the de
Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s