Graham Arnold will lead the Socceroos through their next World Cup campaign.
Football Australia confirmed the 59-year-old has signed on until the end of the 2026 World Cup in North America, capping a remarkable turnaround following calls for him to be replaced during Australia’s stuttering qualification run for the Qatar tournament.
After eventually gaining entry into the World Cup via a dramatic playoff route, the Socceroos recorded their best-ever group stage result with two victories, before going down 2-1 to eventual champions Argentina in the round of 16.
Following his contract extension, Arnold said he remains motivated to succeed in the role.
“I love Australia and I love Australian football, and nothing in football can ever match the elation, pride and sense of achievement, I and the entire set-up felt in Qatar,” Arnold said.
“The hunger to continue in the role has never been stronger and I know I have more to give to the Socceroos’ program and Australian football, where I want to deliver more smiles for our fans as we did in Qatar.
“I approach the next four years with a clean sheet, which is underpinned by a burning ambition to provide more opportunities to our leading emerging and established talent, whilst challenging for major titles starting with the AFC Asian Cup in Qatar next year.”
Four More Years! 📝🔒
📰 Read more: https://t.co/bATmjz5wyC#ArnieIn #Socceroos pic.twitter.com/R98PKgplao
— Subway Socceroos (@Socceroos) January 30, 2023
Arnold has been in the top job since taking over from Bert Van Marwijk after the 2018 World Cup, having previously held the position in an interim capacity.
A former national team representative as a player, Arnold said he hopes to help develop the game in Australia more broadly over the next few years.
“In addition to success on the field over the next four years, I want to help deliver results for football in the form of bespoke infrastructure for our game across Australia,” Arnold added.
“Football is the world game, where for a country of 26 million people, we certainly overachieve based upon the funding and investment our game receives.
“For our sport not to have a National Home of Football, and for the Socceroos to not receive any high-performance funding is something I want to support Football Australia to resolve over the next four years.
“As we saw, a successful FIFA World Cup campaign unites and inspires all Australians like nothing else does, and it is in the national interest to support both our senior national football teams.”
Football Australia chair Chris Nikou praised Arnold’s impact on the national team.
“What Graham and the entire squad achieved under the most challenging of circumstances during the last FIFA World Cup campaign was exceptional, and we are delighted that we have secured his services for a further four years,” Nikou said.
“Football Australia is ambitious, where we expect continued progress and results from our senior and youth national teams, and through our discussions with Graham over recent weeks, we know our thinking is aligned on the future direction of Australian football and the Socceroos.”