Graham Arnold Will Coach The Socceroos Through To 2026 - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Graham Arnold Will Coach The Socceroos Through To 2026

After his success with the Socceroos at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Football Australia has announced Graham Arnold will stay on until the conclusion of the 2026 World Cup campaign.

Even now, months on from their incredible performance in Qatar at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, what the Socceroos achieved is nothing short of remarkable. The team, consisting of mostly young players and none of the household names of seasons past like Kewell or Cahill, defied critics who had largely come to dismiss them. Rather than feed into the narrative that was written for them, the Socceroos instead shouldered the pressures of a nation as they gave everything to win two matches and qualify for the Round of 16. 

And while the talent, athleticism and skills demonstrated on field all suggest that this is a team with a bright future, it was the coaching genius of Graham Arnold that impressed most as he helped the team to block out the noise and deliver. Arnold guided the team to their best World Cup result and not surprisingly, when his contract ended many were quick to approach him with various offers. For fans and players alike though, it was always known that the team’s best success lies with Arnold as their coach. 

It’s now been revealed that Arnold will stay on as head coach of the Socceroos, taking them through to the 2026 World Cup after signing a new contract with Football Australia. According to FA, Arnold will stay on in his role for another four-year cycle in which he attempts to see the Australian men’s side go from strength to strength, hopefully finding success at the Asian Cup before a sixth consecutive World Cup. 

While Arnold was fielding a number of offers in Europe and abroad following the success of the Socceroos in Qatar, he’s always been someone with the best interests of his players at heart. For Arnold, his desire is one which seeks to see the emerging talent here in Australia nurtured so that they can grow into the promising stars on the field that he knows them to be. With his keen patriotism and this opportunity to work with a team for another four years, Arnold seems committed to seeing the Socceroos defy all expectations as they cement their place on the world football stage. 

As The Guardian reports, it seems clear that the top priority for Arnold and the team will be winning the Asian Cup for the second time in 2024, “followed by a less circuitous route to qualification for the 2026 World Cup. Progress beyond the last 16 once at the tournament in the US, Canada and Mexico would complete Arnold’s wish list.” 

As Arnold expressed following news of his new contract, “Every time I put on the shirt or am around the Socceroos, I bleed green and gold. It’s always a special moment. I have so much belief in the players and the staff. Qatar was a fantastic achievement but it was just the start and there’s plenty more.”

He added, “I had interest from overseas, but I want to help Australia and the Australian kids. I said to JJ [FA CEO James Johnson] if i did consider to stay on – and I want to stay on – it’s not just about the Socceroos.” 

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Previously, Johnson spoke highly about Arnold’s talent as a coach and the success he enjoyed with the team in Qatar. “He has succeeded – and not only with the [World Cup] result but also how he got there. That was the hardest and most complex campaign we have had and it’s the best performance at a World Cup that we have had, so Arnie has done a fantastic job.”

By Jessica Campbell

Jess is a storyteller committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport.

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