FOOTBALL: Adelaide United recruit Michael Zullo has backed former Leeds United and Liverpool star Harry Kewell to regain his place in the Socceroos line-up ahead of next year's World Cup in Brazil.
Zullo, who has 10 Socceroos caps to his credit after making his A-League debut with Brisbane Roar in 2007, has been loaned to the Reds after failing to crack a spot for FC Utrecht in the first four games of the Dutch Eredivisie this season.
Kewell, unveiled last week as the new Melbourne Heart captain for the coming A-League season, has been left out of recent Socceroos teams after not having had a club to play for since leaving Melbourne Victory at the end of the 2011-12 season.
"If he can get fit and stay fit, I can't see why he won't have a spot in the Socceroos team," Zullo said.
"He's someone I've always enjoyed playing with in the Socceroos set-up."
Zullo, who last played for the national team against Romania on February 6 wasn't as confident about getting his own place back in the team but hopes playing well for Adelaide will give him the chance to impress coach Holger Osieck.
The highly-rated youngster believes the Reds will provide the perfect platform for him to do that under new coach Josep Gombau.
The Spaniard has coached Barcelona's youth team and said he wanted to implement the same attacking philosophy of the world-renowned club while at the Reds.
Despite only joining his new club last week, Zullo said he was impressed with what he saw.
"I was used on the left and right side at Utrecht, in the midfield and defence, and my touch improved a lot. I also matured," he said.
"But their team was almost set in stone without me in it so I had to act before the transfer window expired."
Osieck will no doubt look at the likes of Zullo and Kewell after the Socceroos were humbled 6-0 by Brazil in a friendly yesterday morning.
The ninth-ranked team in the world scored three times in each half and dominated possession throughout the match.
The Socceroos will now turn their attention to their next friendly against France on October 11.
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