Neill is alleged to have called players together in the dressing room to tell them to ignore coach Pim Verbeek's tactics and go on the attack against Germany in the 2010 World Cup opener.

In his new book, The World Game, broadcaster Les Murray claims Neill told the team Verbeek's tactics were 'bullshit'...and then led them to a crushing 4-0 defeat.

But today Buckley insisted Neill was “one of the finest Socceroo captains of all time."

And he added: “No one involved with the Socceroos in South Africa can recall any incident with the slightest resemblance to what has been described in today’s press. 

“As the captain of the Qantas Socceroos, Lucas Neill has demonstrated exceptional leadership over the past five years,” said Buckley.

“He stands tall as an Australian sporting leader of the highest quality.”