World Cup absence driving Robbie Kruse



Cruelly denied a World Cup appearance by a knee injury, there’s no Socceroo keener than Robbie Kruse for the Asian Cup to kick off.

Kruse spent most of 2014 unable to kick a ball after suffering a devastating ACL injury in January.

It cost him a spot at the World Cup in Brazil, where he’d been expected to start in coach Ange Postecoglou’s side.

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Now back in his German club Leverkusen’s set-up and back with the Socceroos, he’s burning to make up for missing the World Cup by making a real impact on home soil in next month’s Asian Cup.

“My rehab went for about seven or eight months… this tournament I was working towards the whole time,” Kruse said in Melbourne on Tuesday.

“I can right the wrong of not being able to go to the World Cup.

“You go through so many emotions when you miss out on a big tournament like a World Cup and I’m thankful that this has come around just six months later.

“Hopefully this Asian Cup I can really stamp my authority on the competition.”

The long rehabilitation has brought Kruse a more well-rounded perspective on football.

“Learning how to walk and contract your muscles again, it’s quite taxing,” he said.

“You miss out on so many things and you start to appreciate how good of a life you have as a footballer.

“I was at rehab for seven, eight hours a day and I’ve never had to work that long in my life.

“Sometimes I used to get annoyed at having to train all the time but now I’m just happy to be able to run on the field.”

With 32 caps, the 26-year-old is a senior member of the Socceroos Asian Cup squad.

Only Mark Bresciano, Tim Cahill, Mile Jedinak, Matt McKay and Mark Milligan have more caps than Kruse.

That means more responsibility among the players, but it’s something Kruse feels at ease with.

“I’ve been around a long time, I think this is my fifth year with the Socceroos,” he said.

“I feel like I’m firmly a part of the leadership group.

“We’re such a close-knit team here and everyone supports everyone.”


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