Osasuna 1 vs Athletic Bilbao 1
Estadio San Mamés, Bilbao, May 5, 2002
“That was special because that was my first year in Spain. It was the second to last game in the season and if we got a point we were safe and Athletic Bilbao needed to win to make the UEFA Cup. Bilbao are a big Basque club [a region in northern Spain with its own language and culture] and they have all Basque players in the team and a lot of the players used to play at Osasuna beforehand so it’s a funny kind of rivalry.

It’s a derby – they hate each other the two clubs – and it was at Athletic’s ground, full house with 38,000 people. They were winning 1-0 and I ended up equalising with about five minutes to go.

We had a lot of men in the box near the end of the game and a ball was played in. A team-mate headed it down and I controlled it on the half-turn and then whacked it in. It wasn’t a great goal – just a striker’s goal. Without even looking where the goal was

I knew where it’d be so it was a case of control it and shoot. It was an instinctive strike.

There was so much relief because we were safe and it being my first year at the club made it even more special. The crowd went crazy because there were quite a few away supporters there too. [Laughs] And funnily enough I did the same celebration that I did for the Uruguay penalty because at the time you didn’t get a yellow card if you took off your top. The shirt was off and I was running around.

I was the toast of Pamplona [where Osasuna play] as it was the second year they were in the top flight and they were just trying to build into a good club and going down would’ve set them back. And since then they have grown and grown.

To score a goal that is significant like that, it makes you feel part of the club’s history. To be seen as the player that saved the team that year – even though it didn’t really “save” the team because the whole team played that year and it wasn’t just that one goal – it’s special. People still see you as the saviour. And you form a good relationship with the players and the fans after that.”

Australia 3 vs Germany 4
Confederations Cup, Commerzbank Arena, Frankfurt, June 15, 2005
“This was only about two or three days after the Copa Del Rey [story on next page]. It was in Germany in front of a full house in Frankfurt. It was disappointing to let in four goals but to score three against Germany at home is an achievement.

The first goal that I scored made it 2-2. Josip Skoko received the ball from a throw in and he looked at me as I made a run and he slipped it to me perfectly. I knew where the goal was but I wasn’t facing the goal –

I was running across it from left to right. But without looking I hit it towards the far post and because I hit it low and hard, Oliver Kahn couldn’t get down in time.

In those situations you have to go on instinct. You know where the goal is. If you take a touch you know the keeper will have enough time to come out and close you down so you have to hit it first time.

The second goal was also another Skoko assist. It was another great pass from Josip. I was left one-on-one with Kahn, I tried to get it under him and he saved it but it came back to me and I hit it under him again.”