The feel good story for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals, at least from the Socceroos perspective, is the presence of Robbie Kruse.
Kruse represents the sort of tenacity anyone could admire. He has triumphed over injury adversity to an extent that sounds like something the most creative mind would imagine if asked to come up with the most dramatic scenario possible.
The 29-year-old Kruse has not played a complete season in five years.
He was ruled out for FIFA 2014 in Brazil by an ACL injury. In the four years since, he has missed over a year’s worth of time with a variety of maladies.
He rehabilitated that injury, but was struck down in the Asian Cup by a serious ankle injury.
Quoted by the AAP, Kruse told reporters, “It’d be no greater honour than walking out for the first game. You get yourself thinking about it quite a lot through the day. We get a lot of spare time in the day so of course it crosses your mind.”
Kruse played in Bochum, a club in Germany’s second division this year and recorded seven goals and six assists, so it would seem obvious that when he is on, he knows what to do.
Bert van Marwijk used him on the left side attack for the friendly with the Czech Republic and Kruse is delighted, since his familiarity with the counter-attack suits his running game.
“It’s the exact formation I’ve played the majority of my European career,” Kruse said.“(Van Marwijk) also gives us the freedom to play football, build up from the back. He’s given the players lots of flexibility and more responsibility to take charge.”
Kruse will need some of that spare time he mentioned to figure out his next move following World Cup. He has played for Melbourne and Brisbane, but he is soon to become a father, so a move from Europe back to Australia may not happen for some time.