Australians and Socceroos in the UEFA Champions League 2022/23 – Sporting News

The 2022-23 UEFA Champions League will give a handful of Australians the chance to shine on one of football’s biggest stages. 
Only one Aussie has ever won the competition with Harry Kewell holding that honour after he featured for Liverpool in their dramatic 2004/05 triumph. 
While the Socceroos are lacking players in some of Europe’s top leagues, a number of them will play in the Champions League this season.  
Australia won’t only be represented on the pitch either with a manager from the country to be on the sidelines for the first time. 
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Former Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou will make his UEFA Champions League debut this season with Celtic. 
The Aussie guided the Hoops to the Scottish Premiership title last season in his first year with the club which guaranteed their place back in Europe’s top competition. 
Postecoglou experienced the Europa League and Conference League knockout round playoffs last season with Celtic so has some idea of the challenge that awaits his side. 
After losing his first two Europa League matches, Postecoglou won three of his last four group stage matches as the Hoops missed out on the knockout stages by a single point. 
The 56-year-old has previously managed in the AFC Champions League and will be helped by assistant coach Harry Kewell as he ventures into the UEFA Champions League for the first time. 
Celtic will also boast an Australian player in the Champions League this season in the form of Aaron Mooy.
The Socceroos midfielder has never played in the competition before but is no stranger to playing European heavyweights having spent three seasons in the Premier League. 
Mooy isn’t expected to start many matches for the Hoops this season but will likely feature more once the club start juggling multiple competitions. 
MORE: Socceroos lure back Hiddink for New Zealand match
Another former Premier League regular, Maty Ryan is reaping the rewards of an off-season move to Denmark.
The Socceroos goalkeeper joined FC Copenhagen in August after struggling for game time in Spain with Real Sociedad. 
Ryan was immediately thrown in the deep end by his new club and kept a crucial clean sheet in Copenhagen’s final playoff match on August 25 that saw them qualify for the Champions League this season. 
The 30-year-old has played in Europe’s biggest competition before with Valencia and his return to it is timely ahead of the 2022 World Cup in November. 
.@MatyRyan is @ChampionsLeague bound 👍👏

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Our #Socceroos shotstopper kept a huge clean sheet as @FCKobenhavn booked their spot in the group stages this morning! #AussiesAbroad #GoSocceroos pic.twitter.com/7hKlV5eLug
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Like Ryan, Nikita Rukavytsya’s club Maccabi Haifa qualified for the Champions League via the playoffs this season. 
Rukavytsya, now 35, returned to the Israeli club in 2022 after a previous five-year stint.
The Australian attacker has been a prolific goalscorer for Maccabi over the years and will hoping he gets the chance to score on the biggest stage. 
While his age is against him, Rukavytsya could force his way back into the Socceroos team for the World Cup with some strong performances in the Champions League.
MORE: Who will the Socceroos play at the World Cup?
After scoring in Eintracht Frankfurt’s penalty shootout victory in last season’s Europa League final, Ajdin Hrustic may or may not get the chance to play Champions League this campaign. 
That’s because despite his heroic moment against Rangers, the midfielder has dropped down the pecking order at Eintracht with reports suggesting he may find a new club before the transfer window closes
But should he stay put, Hrustic has proven he can deal with the pressure of European football and could well force himself back into contention. 
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