Mark Milligan vies for the ball with United Arab Emirates midfielder Mohammed Abdulrah during their AFC Asian Cup quarter-final. Picture: Hassan Ammar/AP
Mark Milligan vies for the ball with United Arab Emirates midfielder Mohammed Abdulrah during their AFC Asian Cup quarter-final. Picture: Hassan Ammar/AP

Socceroos captain to consider quitting after Asian Cup loss

SOCCEROOS captain Mark Milligan is contemplating his international future after Australia's disappointing Asian Cup exit.

The 33-year-old was undecided on whether Friday's 1-0 quarter-final loss to host nation the United Arab Emirates in Al Ain would be his last appearance in a Socceroos' jersey.

"Look, I don't know. I think I'll have to take some time to reflect on this," Milligan said.

"I don't think I'm in any state at the minute to make a decision on anything."

The bitterness of Australia's exit made Milligan eager for redemption, but he admitted reaching another Asian Cup was probably beyond him.

Asked if he didn't want his international career to end on such a sour note, Milligan said: "Of course not, but the other part is can you spend four years trying to redeem it?"

If Milligan does retire, it will bring to an end a storied international career.

Milligan was the youngest member of Guus Hiddink's squad for the 2006 World Cup, debuting for the Socceroos against Liechtenstein in the final warm-up match for that tournament.

The versatile defender or midfielder has gone on to represent Australia 79 times, scoring six goals. Along with Tim Cahill, he is the only Socceroo to go to four World Cups.

Milligan doesn't believe Australia's Asian Cup campaign signals dark days ahead for the Socceroos.

"I don't think it's all doom and gloom at all," he said.

"It's extremely disappointing that we've gone out at this stage, but these are the types of lessons you can't learn unless you experience them.

"The experience the boys have had and will take from here will definitely help. I don't think Australian football is in a bad place - it just wasn't a good result tonight (Friday)."

- AAP

News Corp Australia


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