Bruno Fornaroli named in Socceroos World Cup Qualifiers Squad

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold has revealed striker Bruno Fornaroli will be a part of the Socceroos squad to take on Lebanon in the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers.

Subway Socceroos’ Head Coach, Graham Arnold has named an extended 25-man squad for Australia’s upcoming FIFA World Cup 2026™ Qualifiers against Lebanon.

The Subway Socceroos are set to face Lebanon at Sydney’s CommBank Stadium on Thursday, 21 March before travelling to GIO Stadium, Canberra for a match on Tuesday, 26 March.

The qualifier at GIO Stadium will be designated as a home game for Lebanon, who have opted to play in Australia due to the current circumstances in the Middle East, with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) requesting this fixture be played in a neutral territory.

The March FIFA Men’s International Window sees the resumption of the Second Round of qualification for FIFA World Cup 2026™, following the recent AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ in which Australia made the Quarter Finals. 

Ajdin Hrustic (Heracles Almelo) has been named in a Subway Socceroos’ squad for the first time since June 2023, following a successful move to the Eredivisie (Netherlands) during the January transfer window.

Adam Taggart (Perth Glory FC) also returns to the national team off the back of strong form in the Isuzu UTE A-League, also joined by Brandon Borrello (Western Sydney Wanderers FC) following his recovery from an ankle injury and Bruno Fornaroli (Melbourne Victory FC).

Kusini Yengi (Portsmouth FC) returns to Australia off the back of a brace against Burton in EFL League One on Tuesday evening, while Riley McGree (Middlesborough FC) was also in the goals this week in the EFL Championship ahead of his call up.

Patrick Yazbek (Viking FK) – originally named for the Subway Olyroos’ squad for a tournament in Saudi Arabia during the upcoming window – has been called up to the senior team as a result of several players being currently unavailable.

AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ squad members Aziz Behich (calf), Martin Boyle (concussion), Aiden O’Neill (suspension/ankle) and Marco Tilio (hamstring) have all been ruled out of the upcoming qualifiers against Lebanon.         

Subway Socceroos’ Head Coach, Graham Arnold said his side’s full focus was now on their journey to international football’s showpiece event being held in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

“As a group we took a lot away from our time in Qatar and I’ve got no doubt that we’ll be better for the experience as we work towards World Cup qualification,” Arnold said.

“We selected a number of younger, inexperienced players for the Asian Cup with the view of giving them more opportunities at international level as well as exposing them to tournament conditions.

“It’s part of our continued regeneration of the senior national team squad, ensuring that in two years’ time we have the depth and experience required to succeed on international football’s biggest stage.”

Arnold added that while injury forced him into some changes, he had largely looked to reward those players who had been part of Australia’s AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ campaign.

“We’ve gone with a similar squad to the one we took to the Asian Cup, and they’ll be prepared to face a side in Lebanon that have a lot to play for,” added Arnold.

“It’ll be a great test for the group and one I know they’re very much looking forward to,” Arnold concluded.

To find out all the latest information on fixtures, results and Second Round Qualification updates please click here.

The Subway Socceroos FIFA World Cup 2026™ Qualifiers will be broadcast live thanks to Football Australia’s broadcast partner, 10 Paramount.


Subway Socceroos v Lebanon

Thursday, 21 March 2024
CommBank Stadium, Parramatta

Kick-off: 8.00pm AEDT
Tickets: Start from $20 Child, $25 Concession, $30 Adult, $80 Family via Ticketek

Broadcast: 10 Bold, 10 Play and Paramount+

Lebanon v Subway Socceroos
Tuesday, 26 March 2024
GIO Stadium, Canberra

Kick-off: 7.45pm AEDT
Tickets: Start from $15 Child, $20 Concession, $25 Adult, and $50 Family via Ticketek

Broadcast: 10 Bold, 10 Play and Paramount+

Credit: Football Australia