The decade of the 2000s was arguably the era of the glory of the Australian national team in world football. Rule the Oceania Cup, appear in the World Cup, and enter the quarter-finals of the 2007 Asian Cup, which was the first Asian tournament they participated in. Being a sweet achievement of the land of kangaroos.
Australia is known to have a strong reputation in soccer. However, the last time they competed in the world cup occurred in 1974 in West Germany, after the new millennium and they joined as members of the AFC, the 2006 world cup was their first.
In the decade of the 2000s, Australia had many classy players who were poor across Europe, especially England, like Harry Kewell who had been in Liverpool’s uniform, Mark Bosnich with MU, Tim Cahill, Mark Schwarzer, and Mark Viduka.
The last name even carved sweet memories when competing in the primary league. Besides Hary Kewell, Mark Viduka is indeed known as a sharp attacker. Starting his career at the Melbourne Knights in 1993, Viduka then began venturing into Europe in 1995 by joining Dinamo Zagreb.
After three seasons and scoring 55 goals in 99 matches, Viduka anchored to Glasgow Celtic, where he again scored many goals. The name Mark Viduka then began to get serious attention when strengthening Leeds United in the land of three lions.
At that time, Viduka was brought from Glasgow Celtic by Leeds United coach David O’Leary in the summer of 2000 with a dowry of 6 million or around Rp. 100 billion.
In that era, Leeds United was still a fairly respected team in the land of the queen of Elizabeth. Being in the top five of the primary league at the end of the season becomes a habit of the team based at Elland Road.
In the 2000/01 season, Viduka became the inaugural season of Leeds United in uniform. Under the care of David O’Leary, Leeds became a serious contender for Man United, Liverpool and Arsenal in the race for the primary league trophy. At the end of the season, Leeds finally hung out in fourth place under the giant teams.
Mark Viduka’s inaugural season in England was passed perfectly, which recorded 22 goals in all competitions. Including four historic goals that he netted into the nets Liverpool in the Premier League.
On that day, November 4, 2000, Leeds had a guest from Anfield. Anxiety surrounds David O’Leary because some of his core players cannot be played, such as Lucas Radebe, Michael Dubbery, and Danny Mils.
Even so, O’Leary need not worry because there are still players who are ready to tear apart the Liverpool defense. Including Mark Viduka who duet with Alan Smith on the front lines with a 4-4-2 formation.
Under the blazing sunshine and in front of his supporters, Leeds started the matchless convincingly, within 18 minutes of the start, they fell behind 0-2 after Samy Hypia and Christian Ziege scored for Liverpool after being able to take advantage of set-pieces.
However, their striker, Mark Viduka responded quickly. In the 24th minute when Alan Smith pressed Christian Ziege who owned the ball, Viduka smelled the scent of blood, after the ball fell to him in the penalty box, the impressive Australian striker killed him with his first touch, he put the ball to the right side of Liverpool’s goal net.
Score 2-1 for Liverpool’s advantage lasted until halftime. Entering the second half, when the game has been running for two minutes, the sharpness of Viduka, again, killed Liverpool goalkeeper, Sander Westerveld. Starting from Gary Kely’s crossing pass from the right-wing, the ball was welcomed by Viduka through his head, the ball that led to the left corner of the reds’ goal failed to reach Westerveld.
When Viduka celebrated his goal by blowing kisses to the audience, the overzealous Alan Smith clattered onto his back, then accidentally dropped it onto the billboard. Luckily, Viduka was not injured and was still able to continue the fight to destroy Liverpool.
Anfield’s red force regained the lead in the 60th minute with Vladimir Smicer as the goal scorer. But Viduka again became a nightmare for the Reds.
In the 73rd minute, Viduka struck his third goal. Receiving a sharp pass from Dacourt, Viduka attacked in the Liverpool penalty box, the action was able to fool two Liverpool players before making a shot towards the far post.
Two minutes later, Viduka put Leeds back ahead. Escaped the offside trap, deftly Viduka lifted the ball past Westerveld and Jamie Carragher who tried to block the ball. 4-3 position for Leeds United’s victory also lasted until the referee blew the long whistle.
Viduka Four is not a coincidence. After scoring 25 goals in 28 matches with Celtic in the Scottish Premier League in the 1998/99 season, there is irrefutable evidence about his killer instinct in the penalty box.
The striker who was born in 1975 continues to show maturity with Leeds. In the 2002/03 season, Viduka was listed as one of the most fertile players in the Premier League, where he scored 20 goals in 33 matches he played.
After leaving Leeds, Viduka was joined by Middlesbrough in 2004. Three years in The Boro uniform, Viduka moved to Newcastle United. Only two seasons on St. James Park, he then hung up his shoes in 2009.
During his career in England, as many as 153 goals successfully netted Viduka. His success in making Quintrick against the big clubs of Liverpool will always be the most beautiful memories.