Jamie Maclaren will contemplate international retirement after missing out on Socceroos selection. Image by James Ross/AAP PHOTOS
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Melbourne City star Maclaren reveals Asian Cup snub

Oliver Caffrey December 21, 2023

Melbourne City star Jamie Maclaren will ponder international retirement after revealing he had been snubbed from the Socceroos’ Asian Cup squad.

Ahead of Australian coach Graham Arnold on Friday unveiling the squad he will take to Qatar in January, Maclaren has already received the bad news.

Despite scoring a hat-trick in the Socceroos’ 7-0 thumping of Bangladesh last month, the 30-year-old will stay with City in A-League Men while the Socceroos head to the Asian Cup.

“I’m a realist,” Maclaren said on Thursday.

“I understand I’ve had some niggling things bothering me at the moment. 

“I know my position under ‘Arnie’ and it’s not a starter and I have to accept that.”

Maclaren’s revelation comes two days after Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo announced his international retirement, aged just 31, to focus on helping Ipswich Town’s push for promotion to the English Premier League.

The City striker, who has been battling an ankle issue, conceded the Asian Cup snub was not an “easy one” to take.

“I don’t think I’m a guaranteed selection in that Socceroos side, anyway,” Maclaren said.

“You saw recently Mass Luongo retired, and who knows, in the next couple of months maybe even discussions for myself, I don’t really know.

“But I’m not really too focused on that. I’m not going to the Asian Cup and we can just leave it at that.”

 Melbourne Victory’s Bruno Fornaroli (l) is tipped to be named in Graham Arnold’s Socceroos squad. Image by Will Murray/AAP PHOTOS 

But former City captain Bruno Fornaroli is expected to be picked by Arnold after a stunning start to the season for rivals Melbourne Victory.

Fornaroli has netted 11 goals in eight games this A-League season, making the Uruguay-born forward almost impossible not to pick.

Daniel Arzani, Fornaroli’s Victory teammate, said he would be “buzzing” if the 36-year-old received the call-up for the Asian Cup.

“He’s an absolute beast,” Arzani said of Fornaroli.

“He’s not just scoring goals, he’s an absolute nuisance all over the pitch. 

“He’s holding off two to three players at a time … his work-rate is insane as well. 

“We’re all really proud of him and we’ve seen him put the work in during pre-season and it’s paying off for him.”

Arzani, who has six Socceroos caps after being the youngest player at the 2018 World Cup, admits he is still a fair way off an international call-up.

“There’s no better feeling than lining up in the national team jersey for your country,” the 24-year-old said.

“I’d be so honoured to be able to do that again and it’s something that I definitely have my eyes set on.”