Football Federation Australia (FFA) today announced that the best player in the Westfield FFA Cup Final on Tuesday night will be awarded the Mark Viduka Medal in honour of one of Australia’s finest football talents.
Aligning the medal, which will become an annual tradition at the Westfield FFA Cup Final, with the Socceroos striker who boasted a superb goal scoring record for both club and country in a senior playing career that spanned 17 years is certain to carry added value, prestige and significance to the individual accolade.
“Mark is a legend of Australian football and the ideal person to have this medal named after,” FFA CEO David Gallop said.
“The big stage of a Cup Final is when heroes are made and the best players come to the fore, and Mark was one such player during his career. From his early days in the NSL to becoming one of the most feared marksmen in Europe and the captain of his country at a World Cup, Mark was a big game player who achieved a lot, including Cup success, so it is fantastic to have him associated with the Final.”
“The Mark Viduka Medal will become a time honoured tradition of the Westfield FFA Cup Final.”
Having started his career as a teenager at Victorian club Melbourne Knights, Viduka stormed onto the national scene taking out the NSL top goal scorer and Johnny Warren Medal in consecutive seasons before heading to Croatia to join Dinamo Zagreb where he registered better than a goal a game and played an integral part in helping the club claim a three peat in both the league and the Cup.
The 39 year old also won a Scottish Cup with Celtic and captained the Socceroos at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, while he also became the first player from outside Europe to win of the Scottish Player of the Year.
Viduka said he was excited and honoured to have his name aligned with the medal.
“The FFA Cup is a great competition and it’s really good that former NSL clubs of the past and other local clubs from when I first started playing have the chance to be recognised on the national stage again,” Viduka said.
“Importantly, the FFA Cup also gives younger players an opportunity to impress and something to aspire to.
“Cup competitions are special and I have been fortunate enough to have had some fantastic experiences and memories winning Cup finals in Croatia and Scotland, so this is a great privilege and I’m very proud to be associated with the FFA Cup and the medal.”
Viduka will be in attendance at the Westfield FFA Cup Final and personally present the medal to the winner.
The winner will be determined by a panel of three judges consisting of Viduka plus Socceroos Head Coach Ange Postecoglou and FFA National Technical director Eric Abrams, who will allocate votes on a 3-2-1 basis.
The Westfield FFA Cup Final 2014 between Adelaide United and Perth Glory on Tuesday 16 December 2014 will be LIVE and exclusive on FOX SPORTS 505.
Mark Viduka Profile
Born: 9 October 1975 (Melbourne)
1993-1995 Melbourne Knights, Australia
1995-1998 Dinamo Zagreb, Croatia
1998-2000 Celtic, Scotland
2000-2004 Leeds United, England
2004-2007 Middlesbrough, England
2007-2009 Newcastle United, England
Socceroos ‘A’ internationals – 43 apps, 11 goals
Australian U23 (Olyroos)
Young Socceroos (U20)
NSL Champions (Melbourne Knights) 1994/95
NSL Under 21 Player of the Year 1993/94, 1994/95
NSL Top Scorer 1993/94, 1994/95
Johnny Warren Medal 1993/94, 1994/95
Croatian Champions (Dinamo Zagreb) 1995/96, 1996/97, 1997/98
Croatian Cup Winners (Dinamo Zagreb) 1995/96, 1996/97, 1997/98
Scottish Cup Winners (Celtic) 1999/2000
Oceania Footballer of the Year 2000
Scottish Premier League Top Scorer 1999/2000
Scotland Players’ Player of the Year 1999/2000
Socceroos captain at FIFA World Cup 2006
Alex Tobin OAM Medal 2011