A host of current and former Hyundai A-League stars were last night honoured as the PFA A-League Team of the Decade was announced at the Australian National Maritime Museum.
Selected by the PFA’s A-League’s members past and present, players were asked to vote for their starting 11 in a 4-3-3 formation, five substitutes, a coach and referee of the decade.
As voted by the players, the PFA A-League Team of the Decade is:
Goalkeeper: Eugene Galekovic
Defenders: Cassio, Kevin Muscat ©, Patrick Zwaanswijk, Ivan Franjic.
Midfielders: Matt McKay, Carlos Hernandez, Thomas Broich.
Forwards: Archie Thompson, Besart Berisha, Shane Smeltz
Substitutes: Michael Theo (GK), Adama Traore, Mark Milligan, Steve Corica, Alessandro Del Piero.
Coach: Ange Postecoglou
Referee: Strebre Delovski
With players having had to have played at least two seasons in the A-League to be eligible for selection, the team was voted on by over 400 former and current A-League players and contains three Johnny Warren Medal winners.
As the highest vote getting former or current club captain Kevin Muscat was named as the skipper of the PFA A-League Team of the Decade.
The two-time Championship and Premiership winning defender said it was a privilege to have been named in the players’ team.
“It's an incredible honour to be selected in the PFA A-League Team of the Decade and I am extremely humbled to also be named captain,” said Muscat. “To be nominated by my peers, both past and present, is extremely humbling and something that I take great pride in.
“I would like to thank Melbourne Victory for giving me the opportunity to return to Australia back in 2005. I have nothing but respect for everyone who has been associated with the club and I look forward to what the future holds. I would also like to thank my teammates for their support over the years. They were a privilege to play with and it's great to see so many of them included in the PFA A-League Team of the Decade.
“Finally, I would like to congratulate all of the players who have been named in the Team of the Decade. Each of them has made a tremendous impact on the A-League and it's fitting that their contributions are recognised in this way.”
PFA Chief Executive Adam Vivian hailed the team and said all of them had made an enourmous contribution to the success of the A-League.
“The aim of the PFA A-League Team of the Decade was to recognise the outstanding contribution the players have made to the competition and these players are all certainly worthy of the highest form of recognition,” said Vivian.
“To have won 25 A-League Championships between them highlights just how big their contribution has been, however it is just part of the impact they have made.
“They, and their peers, have worked tirelessly over the past ten seasons to build a competition that offered very few guarantees into one that is now one of the biggest success stories of Australian sport for the past ten years.