FourFourTwo sat down with Melbourne Victory legend, Archie Thompson, to talk the 2017 Grand Final, indoor football, re-live his A-League days and much more.
Australian football legend Archie Thompson has recently become an ambassador for the Red Bull Neymar Jr’s Five tournament.
In fact since he retired from professional football the former Socceroo has hardly had a moment of downtime.
Working as a Fox Sports presenter at the 2017 A-League Grand Final was among the most challenging.
Two years after Victory defeated the Sky Blues in the decider and won, they teams were facing off again - this time without Thompson in the line up.
“It was hard, I don’t think my heart beat went below 160, I felt like I played a full game,” he said of Victory's loss on penalties.
“It was emotional, I was proud of the boys, no one gave them any hope but they put it right to them.”
After signing Rhys Williams from Perth Glory earlier this week, he thinks the Victory need to fill the holes left by the players heading for the exit.
“The issue isn’t in the back (although) maybe look for someone like (Daniel Georgevski),” Thompson said of the Newcastle Jets bound defender.
“They need more in the attack, maybe one or two good players to fill the (Fahid Ben) Khalfallah hole.”
The Socceroos next take on Saudi Arabia in Adelaide on June 8 in a must win World Cup qualifier, and according to Thompson, they focus needs to be on qualifying for Russia 2018 ahead of the Confederations Cup.
Thompson added: “To be honest, I don’t think we should be looking too far ahead, we have a massive game against Saudi Arabia coming up. We need to qualify for our game, at the moment it’s a bit of a stalemate.”
On the Confederations Cup where Australia is pitted against Germany, Chile and Cameroon in Group B, he said:“I’ve got plenty of faith in the boys, I will always support them and never bag them.”
“It will be good to see where we are at, we are playing the world’s best.”
Meanhile the Red Bull Neymar Jr’s Five tournament is beginning to heat up ahead of the National Final in Melbourne early next month.
When the opportunity arose to come onboard as an ambassador for the tournament, Thompson jumped at it.
“It gives a lot of amateur footballers the opportunity to progress through their State Finals, make the National Final and then have the opportunity to play against other countries," he said.
A fan of Brazilian football, Thompson was delighted to join up and be involved when Red Bull came knocking, especially after finding out more about the tournament.
“It’s a cool little concept which gives you the opportunity to meet Neymar,” he laughs.
After Thompson’s 11-year spell with the Melbourne Victory ended, he said one of the best things is being able to take advantage of the opportunities that weren’t previously logistically possible.
“It’s good,’’ he said. “A lot of opportunities are coming my way that I wouldn’t have been able to take by being a pro-footballer and having the schedule that I did.
“My career opened a lot of doors, and doors that I can actually go through now because I have the time. It’s exciting.”
There are still Red Bull Neymar Jr’s Five State Qualifiers yet to kick-off, so check when the next one is closest to you and register here!