2012 was a stunning year for 34-year-old Thompson in the Socceroo shirt with a crucial goal against Iraq last October to help revitalize a potentially disastrous situation in Dubai as Australia won 2-1.

Other goals against Jordan in World Cup qualification and at the EAFF Cup (including a quick fire hat-trick) it shows why Thompson has been reborn for Rio under Holger Osieck and his club coach Ange Postecoglou.

With seven goals in total in 2012, Thompson looms again as a key man next Tuesday in Sydney against Oman in a vital World Cup qualifier.

“I know my role in the team,” Thompson told FourFourTwo magazine when quizzed on the Socceroos. “Holger’s always said he finds me a player who can really impact a game. And I’m happy with that.”

And the Victory man was coy about retiring after this World Cup campaign. “I’m not going to say I’m going to retire from international football because in the past couple of years I’ve not been a regular.”

The bubbly forward also spoke about the pressures on the Socceroos last year, his outburst after one such game, and the rivalry between Heart and Victory which he believes can be a little “distasteful” on the terraces.

It’s a cracking interview … and there’s so much in this issue.

Click here to see what else is in this issue and how you get a copy