It has been nearly three years since Massimo Luongo featured for the Socceroos.  The midfielder had a rapid rise in his early career, one that saw him shortlisted for the Ballon d'Or, named 2015 Asian Cup most valuable player and gain 43 Australian caps in the process, but injury stunted his progression.

Massimo Luongo Socceroo History

  • Luongo made debut seven years ago and was part of the 2014 & 2018 World Cup squads.
  • He last featured for the Socceroos in 2019, getting his 43rd caps.
  • Injuries have kept Luongo from the field in the last year, with the midfielder recently returning to form.

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Luongo has been at Sheffield Wednesday since the start of the 2019-20 season.  While he played regularly his first season with the then-Championship club, injury at the end of 2020 sidelined him for most of this second season with the Owls.

He returned at the start of this League One campaign but was sidelined again from injury until a return to form in November.  He achieved a starting position for Wednesday and played complete consecutive matches.

Speaking to The Star at the start of December, the Socceroo addressed his hope that this resurgence could lead to a different Australian outcome that he has experienced in the last three years:

“Every call-up I’ve been injured.  In the very first international window with Wednesday I was fit and I went, but every other time whether it was a two-week injury or a long injury, I wasn’t able to go.

“I’m not expecting anything but I’d love to be a part of it all, especially in a World Cup year, but I’m really not expecting anything.

“I just want to play football and get back to doing what I love doing. The rest is a bonus.”

Luongo's return, if not only to form but possibly to the Socceroos' radar, was halted again last weekend. He picked up a straight red card for a late tackle on Portsmouth's Ronan Curtis during Wednesday's League One game mid-week.  

He has since been given a three-match ban for the misconduct.  Luongo will not be available for Wednesday until their last match of the calendar year. While three weeks may not be a lot, especially considering the time Luongo missed in the last twelve months, it does open the door for someone to compete for his recently reclaimed starting spot.

Time will tell if it affects the wishes Luongo expressed in early December.  There is still a lot of time between now and the next international break at the end of January. 


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