‘Family first’: Mitch Langerak calls time on Socceroos career

The 32-year-old debuted for Australia in 2013 and has made eight appearances during a career spent mainly as an understudy to Mark Schwarzer and Mat Ryan. Despite his lack of appearances, Langerak was part of Australia’s World Cup squad at Brazil in 2014 and part of the 2015 and 2019 Asian Cup squads.

With Ryan struggling for game time in England following his loan move to Arsenal from Brighton and Danny Vukovic without a club after leaving Belgian team Genk, Langerak was a chance to be Graham Arnold’s first-choice keeper for upcoming World Cup qualifiers in June.

The former Borussia Dortmund custodian set a new record for clean sheets in a J-League campaign in December with Nagoya Grampus but said he was unwilling to commit to the travel required on the road to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

“This has been one of the hardest decisions I have had to make in terms of football, but it is the right decision for me and my young family,” Langerak said. “I have looked at the international calendar up to next year’s World Cup and the likely time away from family, not only due to the camps themselves but periods afterwards in quarantine.

“After sitting down with my family and close circle, I have decided to put my family first because leaving my family alone in a foreign country [Japan] with no family support during a pandemic is not something that I am comfortable with. I look back on my Socceroos career with fantastic memories, highlighted by the special moments that we created as a team.”

The Socceroos squad for the upcoming matches against Kuwait, Taiwan, Jordan and Nepal in Kuwait City from 4 June is expected to be named next week.