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Mark Schwarzer, OAM (born 6 October 1972) is an Australian football goalkeeper who plays for English Premier League team Fulham. He also represents Australia in the international matches.

Club career

Early career

Schwarzer has worn the same pair of shinpads since he started his professional career at the age of 19 with Marconi Stallions, in the National Soccer League. He left the Sydneymarker based club to play in Germanymarker with Dynamo Dresden, FC Kaiserslautern and Bradford City, Schwarzer joined Middlesbrough in April 1997. He was considered a large contributor to the recent success of Middlesbrough and an important part of the team.

Middlesbrough

Schwarzer in 2006.
Schwarzer made his debut for Middlesbrough against Stockport County in the League Cup semi-finals. He played in the final against Leicester City, a 1–1 draw, but injury kept him out of the replay, which Middlesbrough lost. However, he was part of the side who beat Bolton Wanderers to win the 2004 League Cup final, producing a superb display having recovered after his mistake in letting in a soft shot.

Perhaps his most important save for Middlesbrough came in the last match of the 2004-05 season against Manchester City, saving a Robbie Fowler penalty in stoppage time to preserve a 1–1 draw. The draw was sufficient to put Middlesbrough in seventh in the final league table and ensure qualification for the UEFA Cup. Had Fowler converted the penalty, Man City would have qualified for the UEFA Cup at Middlesbrough's expense.

Schwarzer was granted a transfer request by Middlesbrough late in 2005 and sought to join a new club, but he withdrew his request on 20 January 2006, and rejoined the team. However, a fractured cheekbone sustained against West Ham United looked like it had ruled Schwarzer out for the rest of the season, but he returned for the UEFA Cup final against Sevilla, albeit playing with a protective mask. When he played in Middlesbrough's 1–0 victory over Portsmouth on 29 December 2007, he became the Premier League's longest-serving foreigner at one club beating Dennis Bergkamp's record of 315 games.

Fulham

Schwarzer's contract with Middlesbrough expired in June 2008, and although he was offered a new contract, manager Gareth Southgate had to plan a future with a new goalkeeper, as on 21 May 2008, Schwarzer signed a two-year deal at Fulham, ending an 11-year association with the Teesside club. Schwarzer revealed in an interview with The World Game that he had received offers from Bayern Munich and Juventus but declined their offers because they could not guarantee him the position as the number 1 keeper.

Schwarzer made his Fulham debut in a 2–1 defeat to newly-promoted Premier League side Hull City, but he followed up by keeping a clean sheet in his next match in a 1–0 win at home to Arsenal and played every minute of the 2008/09 season. He kept ten clean sheets during the 2008–09 season in all competitions.

Schwarzer's contribution was phenomenal as his performances lead Fulham to a high 7th place finish and a place in Europe the next season, a massive improvement on Fulham's 17th place finish just a season before. Notable scalps included wins over Arsenal, Manchester United and a draw with Chelsea largely due to many spectacular saves from Schwarzer. Incidentally, Middlesbrough were relegated at the end of that season. He received the Fulham Player of the Year 08-09 in his first year at the club.

Club

58||0||||0||||0||||0||||0
6||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||6||0
430||0||40||0||27||0||28||0||525||0
494||0||40||0||27||0||28||0||589||0


Stats accurate as of 18:27, 29 November 2009.

International career

Schwarzer made his international debut for Australia against Canada in Edmontonmarker in a 1994 World Cup qualifier.He came on as a substitute for Milan Blagojevicafter first-choice Robert Zabicawas sent off 17 minutes into the match. In the return leg in Sydney, he covered himself in glory when he saved two penalties to send Australia to the final phase of qualifying against Argentina. Schwarzer did not play in these matches, and Australia were defeated 2–1 on aggregate.

He was instrumental in Australia's qualificationfor the 2006 FIFA World Cup, in the play-off against Uruguay. After Uruguay won the first leg 1–0 in Montevideomarker, Australia won 1–0 in Sydney.In the penalty shootout, Schwarzer saved two penalties to see Australia victorious 4–2.

At the World Cup Finals he played the first two games in Australia's group matches, conceding a controversial goal against Japanand two goals against Brazil. In the third match he was replaced by Zeljko Kalac, but after Kalac's disappointing performance he was reinstated for the Round of 16 match against Italy.

Even though he predicted the direction of the penalty kick, he was unable to save the penalty in the second round of the World Cupagainst Italy, which was scored by Francesco Tottiin injury time and sent Australia out of the World Cup.

After the World Cup in 2006, he vowed to return for the 2010 FIFA World Cupin South Africa. He played in all of Australia's matches in the 2007 Asian Cup although he performed admirably against Oman in the 1–1 draw he made an error which led to a goal in the 3–1 loss to Iraq and could not match Japanese goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchiduring the penalty shootout which saw the Socceroos crash out of the competition in their debut at the tournament. Schwarzer said that the penalty-shootout in the Asian Cup quarter-finals was the first penalty-shootout in his career that he had ever lost.

Schwarzer saved an 89th minute Shao Jiayipenalty against Chinain Australia's 0–0 draw in the 2010 World Cup qualifierin March 2008, continuing his record of stopping penalty kicks.He received his second yellow card of the tournament against Qatar in Dohamarker, in which Australia were 3-1 winners.He also missed Australia's second leg game against the Chinesein Sydney. He played every minute for theSocceroos in round two of qualification, conceding only one goal - in the final game against Japan.

Mark Schwarzer made several vital saves to secure Australia's Asian Cup Qualifiercome back win (2-1) over Oman in Muscat after conceding from his penalty save rebound!

Personal life

Schwarzer was born in North Richmond, a semi-rural suburb in North-Western Sydney and attended Colo High School. His parents Hans-Joachim and Doris emigrated to Australia from Germany in 1968. He speaks English, Spanish and German. Schwarzer and his wife Paloma have two children; a son, Julian, and a daughter, Amaya. In 2009 he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.

Honours

Middlesbrough

1990-91 Marconi Fairfield National Soccer League 0 0 0 0 0
1991-92 0 0 0 0 0
1992-93 0 0 0 0 0
1993-94 0 0 0 0 0
Marconi Fairfield Total
58 0 0 0 0 0

1994-95 Dynamo Dresden Bundesliga 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Dynamo Dresden Total
2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
1995-96 Kaiserslautern Bundesliga 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1996-97 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Kaiserslautern Total
4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0

1996-97 Bradford City Division 1 13 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 16 0
Bradford City Total
13 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 16 0
1996–97 Middlesbrough Premier League 7 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 10 0
1997-98 Division 1 34 0 3 0 7 0 0 0 44 0
1998–99 Premier League 34 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 35 0
1999–00 37 0 1 0 5 0 0 0 43 0
2000–01 31 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 34 0
2001–02 21 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 25 0
2002–03 38 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 39 0
2003–04 36 0 1 0 7 0 0 0 44 0
2004–05 31 0 2 0 0 0 10 0 43 0
2005–06 27 0 6 0 3 0 11 0 47 0
2006–07 36 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 42 0
2007–08 34 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 39 0
Middlesbrough Total
366 0 32 0 26 0 21 0 445 0
2008–09 Fulham Premier League 38 0 5 0 1 0 0 0 44 0
2009–10 13 0 0 0 0 0 7 0 20 0
Fulham Total
51 0 5 0 1 0 7 0 64 0






Fulham

Player of The Year 2008/2009

References

  1. "Schwarzer on wrong foot for first time", July 25, 2007 Retrieved on July 25, 2007
  2. The Age (2009). Australia Day honours. Retrieved January 26, 2009.


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