Update: SBS Sport website to
become home
of all our sport
content on 09/08/2021.

Viduka on why scoring four against Liverpool wasn't his best game, paradise at Celtic and why he went quiet in retirement


Socceroos legend Mark Viduka has revealed that scoring four goals for Leeds against Liverpool was not the best performance in his career, in fact he didn't even score in his best ever match.

Leeds 4-3 win at home over Liverpool in 2000 is one of Viduka's most memorable performances, but he says that it was a game in the Champions League that he is most proud of.

"I don't like it when people suggest that was my career highlight... simply because it was not," Viduka told The World Game. 

"How do you define 'highlight', anyway? Winning my first league title with Melbourne Knights was a highlight and playing in a Champions League semi-final with Leeds was huge too.

"Okay, I scored four that day but I don't think it was the greatest game I ever played, to be honest. I played better games.

"For me, my best game was when we beat Lazio 1-0 in Rome in the Champions League and I set up Alan Smith with a back-heel. I felt confident, I was taking on players and I was dangerous all night.

"I did not score at the Olimpico but that's how it is in football. Sometimes you have a great game and fail to find the net; on other occasions, you have an average game, you get a couple of sniffs and you score twice."

The now 44-year-old also told SBS's Phil Micallef that playing at Celtic was paradise. 

"Playing for Celtic was paradise in a footballing sense after what was happening to me during the latter stages of my stay in Zagreb.

"In Glasgow, I found genuine love for the club where we would get 60,000 fans for all matches, even those cup games against second or third division teams. Celtic's support is unbelievable. I have never seen anything like it."

Viduka also explained that while he usually played as a lone-striker for the Socceroos, he much preferred playing with a partner up front. 

"For Australia, I usually played as a lone striker but I preferred the two-striker system I played in at club level.

"I was never a fast player and I always preferred another striker near me because it is hard to make headway as a main striker if the wingers are too far apart.

"I'll explain. If I'm playing as a lone striker and facing two defenders, one of them can mark me and take chances because he's not scared since he knows there is another defender covering him.

"If on the other hand I am one of two strikers facing two defenders, I can keep them on their toes and neither would be keen to commit too much because if one of them does and I turn I'm away and he's on the turf.

"I am sure most strikers would prefer to play in a two-pronged attack."

Viduka stopped playing football in 2009, and was very rarely heard from until this year. 

"After I quit, I consciously wanted to spend more time with my family and see our three sons grow up after I dedicated so many years of my life to football.

"When you are a professional player, everything revolves around football... winning, losing, moving from one club to another and so on.

"I had been in the spotlight and under pressure from a very young age and it obviously was very stressful and it takes it out on you."

The full interview with Mark Viduka can be read HERE.

Source SBS The World Game