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'It's a huge honour' - Kruse thrilled with 50 Socceroos caps

Goal.com logo Goal.com 05-06-2017

Having not missed a Socceroos match since the start of 2016, Robbie Kruse is "proud" to have reached 50 caps and is looking forward to a big 12 months with the national team.

Kruse notched his 50th appearance for Australia in March's 2-0 win over United Arab Emirates in Sydney and will be looking for a 13th straight game when the Socceroos host Saudi Arabia in World Cup qualifying on Thursday.

It is a far cry from the winger's unfortunate run with injuries earlier in his career.

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Kruse missed the 2014 World Cup after injuring his knee at training attempting to tackle a team-mate, while he was sidelined for four months in 2015 with ankle ligament damage after being crunched in the Asian Cup Final.

The 28-year-old is thrilled to be stringing games together for the Socceroos despite being currently without a club after terminating his contract at Liaoning Whowin due to unpaid wages.

"I think it's [50 caps] a nice accolade for me to get," Kruse said.

"I've been through some really terrible injuries over the last five years or so. Unfortunately, I missed the World Cup and then did another injury when I finally got back for the Asian Cup.

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"So that was disappointing and I'm very proud to be able to come back from those setbacks, and to get 50 caps for my country is a huge honour.

"I've been fit for a while now, so hopefully I can continue this and keep building and have good performances at the Confeds Cup and hopefully make the World Cup."

The Socceroos' clash with Saudi Arabia at Adelaide Oval is considered must-win for Kruse and Co. with the home side needing three points to draw level with the Green Falcons in Group B.

With three qualifiers remaining, Australia sit outside the automatic qualifying berths for Russia 2018 on 13 points with Japan and the Saudis both on 16.

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Kruse reckons the Socceroos' controversial new 3-4-3 system will start to bear fruit over the next month or so as they play Saudi Arabia, Brazil in a friendly and Germany, Cameroon and Chile at the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.

"I'm sure we'll get the result we need [against Saudi Arabia] because we've been building the way we've been playing, this structure that we've been playing," he said.

"A few little tweaks and we'll really show what we're capable of."

More: PFA help Kruse, Holland end Liaoning stint | Leckie confident Socceroos will perform well at home | Liaoning Whowin secure Australian pair

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