In an interview to ESPN, Mark Viduka revealed his reason for quitting the Australian football team. He blames his fellow teammates for undermining him and Lucas Neill for his sulking captaincy. The team has performed exceptionally well in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, but in the Asian Cup held after one year, they performed poorly. They were the favourites of the tournament but were knocked off in the quarter finals against Japan.
He accuses the teammates on being selfish and destroying the unity of the team. He says most of his colleagues were interested in the deals offered by different companies and their rights to the television market. Viduka was fed up with the attitude of his teammates and he says it was the main reason for him to quit the national team. The team members were more interested in deals rather than playing for the team.
According to him, Lucas Neill was not on the right side of his mind and only came up because Arnold offered him the captaincy. He says Arnold didn’t inform him of the captaincy change and Neill kept on brooding throughout the practice sessions of Asia cup, maybe it was the reason they weren’t able to perform exceptionally in the tournament. He believes Neill wanted to undermine him and his focus was on the activities outside the pitch.
Viduka was not interested in becoming the captain, unlike his teammates. It was Gus Hiddink, the former coach, who gave him the captaincy title. It was an honour for him to lead the team. He personally thought Craig Moore would have been a better captain but since he was injured, Gus was not expecting him on the team. He felt bad for Moore as he was a good teammate.
After one year of their loss to Japan in the Asian Cup, he retired from the team. He doesn’t regret his decision on retiring from the team. He wasn’t comfortable with new generation players as they all were more interested in the deals, unlike the team he has played with.