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Socceroo, Robbie Kruse, talks about Australia's prospects in the Asian Cup final -

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STEVE CANNANE, PRESENTER: Over 80,000 football fans will pack into Sydney's Olympic Stadium tomorrow night to watch the Socceroos attempt to make history, to become the first Australian men's team to win the Asian Cup.

The Socceroos have progressed to the final in style, playing an attacking brand of football and scoring plenty of goals.

But their opponents will be tough. South Korea have not conceded a goal in the whole tournament and beat the home side in the first round.

Earlier I caught up with Robbie Kruse, the Socceroos' forward whose pace and attacking flair has strengthened the team since his return from injury.

Robbie Kruse, thanks for talking to us.


STEVE CANNANE: This time last year you had just torn your ACL in your knee, you ended up having a knee reconstruction, you ended up missing out on the world's biggest sporting tournament, the World Cup. The road to the Asian Cup final has not been easy for you, has it?

ROBBIE KRUSE: No, it hasn't. You know, obviously missing the World Cup was a massive blow for me. I had done so well to put myself in such a good position at club level and international team, and to injury myself in training, just basic exercise, it was disappointing, but I had the goal in mind throughout my whole rehab with the Asian Cup and I thought if I could really put myself in a good position to do well here, it would make the World Cup a distant memory.

STEVE CANNANE: Is it true that you were so devastated that you booked a flight to the US to avoid watching the first game that Australia was playing?

ROBBIE KRUSE: Yeah, I missed the first two games, I think, and went to America and just got away for three weeks. It was quite tough knowing you were a big part of the team and missing it through no real fault of your own.

(Sound of Socceroo game and commentator)

STEVE CANNANE: The style the team has played has really resonated with the Australian people as well, and I was at that game against Oman when you scored one of four goals and there was a real buzz amongst the crowd. People loved the way you were playing the game.

ROBBIE KRUSE: Yeah I think that's one of Ange's main points he is trying to get across, is that we want results, but we want to do it in the manner that he wants us to do, and that's to entertain the fans, and I think the football we have played this tournament has been excellent and I can't really remember a team, well, a national team playing from Australia playing that attractive football, and I've been around the team now for five years and it is definitely the most enjoyable to play as part of the game. And hopefully if we can win the tournament, then we've combined the results and the entertainment value.

STEVE CANNANE: The coach, Ange Postecoglou, has said that he wants this style to be the Australian way, that the team is aggressive, it attacks, it really takes it up to the opposition. Now, this is not unlike the way, say, the Australian cricket team has played over the years, where they've had a distinct philosophical way that they've played over a long term.

Do you think this as like a template for the way the Socceroos should play in the future?

ROBBIE KRUSE: Yeah, I this I so. The boss has been so big and supportive of Australian players and he says to us at the end of every meeting that he would back eleven Australian players against anyone. You know maybe at the start we maybe didn't believe him so much, but now I think as you seen the way we've been playing, the way we've been killing teams off, how we've come so far in the short amount of time he's been in charge, you know I think it gives us a great basis for the national team, not just for his tenure, but for beyond that as well.

STEVE CANNANE: Will this style and this squad be good enough to knock over South Korea, they haven't even conceded a goal in the whole tournament?

ROBBIE KRUSE: Yeah I mean it's difficult, but I think in that group stage game when we played them, we completely dominated the game, the possession, the shots, everything. They scored from a sloppy throw in and where we switched of a little bit.

(Sound from Socceroo game against Korea)

COMMENTATOR: They fell asleep, Australia, but it's a brilliant finish and a brilliant assist.

ROBBIE KRUSE: I think we had the chances, myself, a couple of others had some clear chances that we didn't take, and in football if you don't do that, you usually come off on the wrong end.

STEVE CANNANE: And you know some of your opponents intimately don't you? Heung-Min I think you play with in Germany?

ROBBIE KRUSE: Yeah, he's one of my good friends so um, yeah he's in the hotel now with us. He's a wonderful player and a wonderful character and a great guy as well. He's probably the highest profile player in Asia at the moment. He carries the weight of his nation on his shoulders and he's doing a pretty good job, so he's someone we're definitely going...

STEVE CANNANE: You've been sending each other messages?

ROBBIE KRUSE: Yeah I've spoken to him fairly regularly on the phone, I caught up with him as well. He's a great guy. I'm sure we're trying our best to win the game so we can go back to our club and kind of brag a bit. So we'll see how it goes.

STEVE CANNANE: Tim Cahill has been phenomenal again, he scored those two great goal in the quarterfinal, he was dragging defenders away in the semi that helped open gaps in the field. What's it like playing alongside Tim Cahill?

ROBBIE KRUSE: You don't really need to tell people what he's done for the code in general. He's the biggest ambassador that football's had here in Australia. He's delivered every time he's been asked to. He's on and off the field, his promotion of football is wonderful. He got us through that quarterfinal, which we were in desperate need of a goal and he produced a bicycle kick which he didn't think he could do anything bigger and he's done it again.

STEVE CANNANE: Some of the current generation of Socceroos are being criticised by previous generation of Socceroos for not doing what you've actually done, which is go and play at the elite level in the Bundesliga League or the Premier League, and going and taking money and playing in some of the minor leagues in Asia or the Middle East.

What made you want to go and do that and test yourself in Germany?

ROBBIE KRUSE: Of course, money is a massive factor in football. I mean you only have a short career span to be able to earn as much as you can, to make you fairly well off over the rest of your career, but in Europe, it's the elite competition, I'm playing in the Champions League which is the biggest competition in the world and I love just the atmosphere of being able to prepare for a game and on game day and seeing full stadiums every time we play. You can't generate that feeling when you go to maybe a league where it's not so big, but I never judge anyone for going anywhere. Everyone has their own career path.

STEVE CANNANE: Has it pushed your game to a new level though being in a cut throat environment where you have to compete just to get into the first eleven?

ROBBIE KRUSE: My club is, they're a top three team in Germany. We are regulars through the Round of 16 in the Champions League. The Germans are very rigid with their training routine, they are very strict and very direct, so it's been wonderful for my career and hopefully I can stay there for another couple of years and eventually hopefully I can look after myself as well after the career, so we'll see how it goes.

Robbie, thanks so much for talking to us and good luck on the weekend.

ROBBIE KRUSE: Thank you.