Socceroo Luongo retires ahead of Asian Cup

Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo has retired from international football less than a month out from the Asian Cup,  giving coach Graham Arnold headaches ahead of naming his squad.

Luongo was firmly in the frame to be selected in Arnold's squad, to be announced on Friday, for next month's tournament amid his career resurrection.

Arnold now has additional flexibility with his roster, as the Asian Football Confederation has confirmed to Football Australia that squads  will be expanded from 23 players to 26 in Qatar.

Graham Arnold
Graham Arnold will name his Asian Cup squad on Friday.

But that won't include Luongo, who is a key part of second-placed Ipswich Town's push for promotion to the Premier League and would have missed up to six Championship games and an FA Cup fixture had he headed to Qatar.

Now at the tail end of his career, Luongo has never played in England's top tier, and will have the chance to remain a constant presence in Ipswich's bid to reach it.

He follows the likes of Aaron Mooy and Tom Rogic in retiring from the Socceroos over the past year.

"This hasn't been a decision I've taken lightly, but I've got to prioritise managing my body as my career goes on," Luongo said in a statement.

"I've loved my journey with the national team and will always cherish the moments I've had in this jersey. 

"I look forward to watching on now as this group of young players drive the Socceroos culture forward.”

Jackson Irvine is the only experienced midfielder remaining in the fold for Qatar.

Keanu Baccus, Connor Metcalfe, Aiden O'Neill, Alexander Robertson and Riley McGree are among the other midfielders.

Luongo, 31, brings the curtain down on a decorated international career, where he scored six goals in 45 appearances.

He was the player of the tournament in Australia's 2015 Asian Cup triumph on home soil, earning a Ballon d'Or nomination.

Luongo also played at the 2019 Asian Cup and attended the 2014 and 2018 World Cups.

"When it comes down to it, Mass needs to do what's right for him and his family," Arnold said.

"He's been through the highs and lows of football and throughout his career has shown us his prodigious talent, his incredible professionalism and his qualities as a leader. 

"He's been an enormous contributor to the Socceroos across the course of his career and we wish him all the best."

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store