FORMER Socceroo Scott McDonald reckons he was never given a decent shot in the national team, he tells Australian FourFourTwo in an exclusive in-depth interview.
McDonald made 26 appearances in the Green and Gold, but notoriously never found the back of the net once at senior international level.
In the latest issue of Australian FourFourTwo, out today, he insists he was denied a chance to shine…and lifts the lid on how a misunderstanding cost him a World Cup spot and ultimately ended his Socceroos career.
“My Australian career was a non-starter,” says former Celtic and Middlesbrough striker McDonald, 31, who recently signed for Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership.
“It was gutting not to be successful with my country. It will always bite me. I am left with a lot of what-ifs.
“I don’t know if I ever got a fair crack. There were 26 games, but how many did I start and finish? I was also a sole striker. Balls came in the box but they were more for Josh [Kennedy] and Timmy [Cahill], not for me.
“The game was not designed for me and my No. 9 role.”
He also revealed he was left seething after missing out on the squad for South Africa 2010.
“I had played in the majority of the qualifiers,” he tells Australian FourFourTwo magazine. “So it was a real kick in the teeth not to go to South Africa.
“At the last moment I was left out despite all my experience and scoring in the Champions League. It left a really bitter taste in my mouth.
“It stemmed from a misunderstanding I had with Pim Verbeek. I was injured for a game against Uzbekistan and so told the physio I couldn’t play – not Pim – and for that, the manager held it against me.
“I apologised to him but the relationship suffered because of that silly mistake. From there it was never the same and didn’t get much better with Holger [Osieck].”
McDonald also chats about life at Celtic and Middlesbrough, his goals against AC Milan and Manchester United…and how he almost joined Rangers in 2007.
Plus he back Mark Schwarzer’s views on young Aussies choosing the A-League over toughing it out in Europe, plus his own plans to play in the local league.
Also in the new issue, we focus on the Matildas and the Women’s World Cup with 20 pages of interviews and insight.
We talk at length to Brazil and Barcelona star Neymar as he prepares to shine at the Copa America. We take you inside that tournament too in all its Latin-madness!
We look back at the highlights from the giantkillers of last year’s FFA Cup and the prospects for the year ahead, plus David Carney talks about his Newcastle Jets nightmare and globetrotting career.
Plus Emile Heskey picks his all-time perfect XI - will it feature Ruben Zadkovich? - and we also pick up some tips from Sydney FC’s Terry Antonis and grab a chat with Adelaide United’s former hardman Michael Valkanis.
It’s all in your new issue of Australian FourFourTwo - and limited editions in select newsagents come with a FREE virtual reality headset. No, really. No, REALLY! They do!
It's a cracking issue! Don't miss it... On sale NOW in newsagents or delivered to your door (before anyone else if you are a subscriber), and online AT CUT PRICE from iTunes, plus Google Play and Zinio too!