Graham Arnold extends Socceroos contract

Graham Arnold says he has more to offer the Socceroos and Australian football after signing a four-year contract extension that will see him through to the end of the 2026 World Cup.

Arnold’s job was hanging by a thread a year ago after the national team struggled to qualify for Qatar 2022 and missed out on a direct berth at the tournament through the Asian Confederation.

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold is staying on for four more years.

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold is staying on for four more years.Credit:Getty Images

But he clinched an incredible penalty shoot-out win over Peru in the intercontinental play-offs to secure Australia’s place in a tough World Cup group with France, Tunisia and Denmark. He then led the Socceroos to their best World Cup result, winning two games for the first time before narrowly losing to eventual champions Argentina in the Round of 16.

The Socceroos finished 11th overall and Arnold was named the tournament’s best coach by the prestigious French sports newspaper L’Equipestrengthening its bargaining power with Football Australia.

Arnold’s contract expired with the final ball kick in Qatar. He has spent the last two months contemplating his future and weighing a possible move to a club or rival national team abroad. Football Australia also carefully assessed the performance of the manager and team before making him a formal offer, but made it clear from the start that Arnold was the first choice.

Whether Arnold wanted a new challenge or wanted to stay with the Socceroos was always the question – and his answer is unequivocal.

“I love Australia and I love Australian football and nothing in football can ever match the excitement, pride and sense of accomplishment that I and the entire Qatar line-up felt,” he said in a statement.

“The hunger to continue in this role has never been greater and I know I have more to give to the Socceroos program and to Australian football where I want to bring more smiles to our fans than we did in Qatar.” Graham Arnold extends Socceroos contract

Ryan Sederquist

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