Socceroos World Cup squad: Australia’s 26-man team and possible starting side for Qatar 2022

By | November 10, 2022

After a long qualifying campaign that went down to a penalty shootout, the Socceroos will be playing at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. 

While the team may have qualified, few players really stood out in a squad that stumbled through qualifying.

Coach Graham Arnold has made a point to give younger players opportunities in recent years and the side will be a mix of youth and experience in Qatar. 

Unlike in previous World Cups, the Socceroos were able to name a 26-man squad for the 2022 tournament in Qatar. 

MORE: Socceroos World Cup schedule | Socceroos World Cup jerseys revealed

Final 26-man Australia World Cup squad

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold confirmed his World Cup squad on Tuesday, November 8.

Arnold was permitted to name an official preliminary list of 35-55 players up until Friday, October 21 with FIFA confirming final squads needed to be submitted by no later than November 14.

The Socceroos won’t play again until the World Cup so squad selection came down to recent club form and performances during qualifying. 

Teenage sensation Garang Kuol has made the cut with the young attacker set to join Newcastle United in January.

Some other notable names in the squad include former Premier League goalkeeper Maty Ryan, Sunderland defender Bailey Wright and Celtic midfielder Aaron Mooy.

Among the players missing, Mitch Langerak, Trent Sainsbury, Tom Rogic and Adam Taggart are the biggest surprises. 

Here’s Australia’s confirmed World Cup squad: 

Position Player Club Age Caps
Goalkeeper Maty Ryan FC Copenhagen (DEN) 30 75
Goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne Sydney FC (AUS) 33 3
Goalkeeper Danny Vukovic Central Coast Mariners (AUS) 37 4
Defender Milos Degenek Columbus Crew (USA) 28 38
Defender Aziz Behich Dundee United (SCO) 31 53
Defender Joel King OB (DAN) 21 3
Defender Nathaniel Atkinson Hearts (SCO) 23 5
Defender Fran Karacic Brescia (ITA) 26 10
Defender Harry Souttar Stoke City (ENG) 23 10
Defender Kye Rowles Hearts (SCO) 24 3
Defender Bailey Wright Sunderland (ENG) 30 27
Defender Thomas Deng Albirex Niigata (JAP) 25 2
Midfielder Aaron Mooy Celtic (SCO) 32 53
Midfielder Jackson Irvine St Pauli (GER) 29 49
Midfielder Ajdin Hrustic Hellas Verona (ITA) 26 20
Midfielder Keanu Baccus St Mirren (SCO 29 53
Midfielder Cameron Devlin Hearts (SCO) 24 1
Midfielder Riley McGree Middlesbrough (ENG) 23 10
Forward Awer Mabil Cadiz (SPA) 27 29
Forward Mathew Leckie Melbourne City (AUS) 31 72
Forward Martin Boyle Hibernian (SCO) 29 19
Forward Jamie Maclaren Melbourne City (AUS) 29 26
Forward Jason Cummings Central Coast Mariners (AUS) 27 1
Forward Mitchell Duke Fagiano Okayama (JAP) 31 20
Forward Garang Kuol Central Coast Mariners (AUS) 18 1
Forward Craig Goodwin Adelaide United (AUS) 30 10

Australia | Argentina | Belgium | Brazil | Cameroon 
Canada | Costa Rica | Croatia | Denmark | England
France | Germany | Ghana | Iran | Japan | Mexico
Netherlands | Poland | Portugal | Qatar | Senegal
Serbia | Spain | Switzerland | Uruguay | USA | Wales 

Socceroos World Cup injury concerns

  • Martin Boyle (meniscus)
  • Ajdin Hrustic (ankle)

With less than a month to go until the World Cup, Australia are fortunate to have few injury concerns. 

Hibernian attacker Martin Boyle was forced from the field on October 30 but resulting scans confirmed his injury wasn’t as bad as first feared and he’ll be fit in time for Qatar. 

Midfield star Ajdin Hrustic is currently battling an ankle injury and has missed multiple games with Hellas Verona but Socceroos coach Graham Arnold is confident he’ll be fit in time for the World Cup. 

“He feels that he’ll be ready. We’ve got that bit of time to watch him and see where it’s at now,” Arnold said on ABC Grandstand on October 30. 

Centre-backs Harry Souttar and Kye Rowles have both overcome injuries just in time for the World Cup. Souttar was on the bench for Stoke City on November 6, while Rowles came on as a substitute for Hearts on the same day. 

Socceroos stars, strengths & weaknesses

Australia have had a mixed 2022 to date but did just enough to book their place at a fifth straight World Cup.

The Socceroos have failed to escape their group since 2006 and will be hoping this is the year they can progress further. 


Scotland-based Aaron Mooy and Martin Boyle are two of the more consistent performers for this current Australia team. 

Playmaker Ajdin Hrustic has also shown glimpses of his star potential and is currently playing in Serie A with Hellas Verona – his ability to create will be key to igniting the Socceroos attack. A recent injury has, however, cast some doubt over whether he will be able to play at the World Cup. 

Teenager Garang Kuol is a rising star and will join Newcastle United in January after starring at club level in Australia. 

Garang Kuol Socceroos

Getty Images


Australia have been blessed with some serious talent in midfield over the past decade with no shortage of quality in this area of the park. 

Defensively, the Socceroos are also seeing a talented bunch of youngsters step up with Harry Souttar and Kye Rowles looming as real assets at the back for years to come. 


Scoring goals.

Arguably since Tim Cahill, no player has been able to step up regularly in the final third for Australia. In fact, the team will head to Qatar with the starting striker spot still up in the air.

While the Socceroos scored for fun in the early stages of World Cup qualifying, they struggled to break down stronger opposition, failing to score against Japan and Saudi Arabia in 2022.  

Socceroos projected starting lineup at World Cup 2022

Just like the squad, Australia’s starting side for the 2022 World Cup is still very much a calculated guess at this stage. 

In the Socceroos’ two playoff matches, they deployed a 4-1-4-1 formation but prior to that were using a 4-3-3 variation with two of their midfielders sitting deeper. 

For the World Cup, Arnold may opt for a more defensive formation with group games against France, Denmark and Tunisia set to test their backline. 

Possible Socceroos starting side (4-3-3): Ryan – Behich, Souttar, Wright, Atkinson – Mooy, Irvine, Hrustic – Boyle, Cummings, Mabil. 

Can Australia replace players on World Cup roster?

Once the final 26-man roster is official, participating teams at the World Cup can only make changes before the first game of the tournament, and only in the case of extraordinary circumstances.

According to the official tournament rules, “a player listed on the final list may only be replaced in the event of serious injury or illness up until 24 hours before the start of his team’s first match.”

The team in question would need to submit a medical report to FIFA and if the world governing body determines “the injury or illness is sufficiently serious to prevent the player from taking part in the FIFA World Cup” then the replacement will be allowed. 

The replacement player must come from the preliminary list of players submitted to FIFA in October.