Former Wanderer Aaron Mooy calls time on professional playing career

Former Wanderer Aaron Mooy has called time on his professional football career for both club and country, informing Football Australia and his current club, Celtic FC of his decision to retire.

Hailing from Western Sydney, Mooy – who amassed 57 appearances for his country – had been a prominent figure in the national team for several years, establishing himself as a mainstay in midfield off the back of some truly memorable performances in green and gold.

After spending time in Australia’s youth set-up, which included appearances for the Young Socceroos at the U-20 FIFA World Cup in 2009 and training on the periphery of the senior squad, Mooy made his Socceroos debut in 2012 against Guam – netting a free-kick to open the scoring in a 9-0 victory.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 25: New signings (L-R) Aaron Mooy, Tarek Elrich and Kwabena Appiah-Kubi pose in the new playing strip during the launch of the new A-League team, Western Sydney Wanderers FC at Parramatta Stadium on June 25, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

In 2015, Mooy would go on to make seven appearances for the Socceroos in the calendar year – his most to date – coinciding with a stellar A-League season for Melbourne City FC.

This run of form for both club and country would continue, with Mooy securing a move to English Premier League (EPL) giants, Manchester City FC in 2016 before successful spells with fellow EPL sides, Huddersfield Town AFC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC.

Cap #558 and a two-time FIFA World Cup™ Socceroo, Mooy featured heavily in Australia’s campaigns in both Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022) – starring in the most recent run to the Round of 16 that captivated football fans across the country.

Following the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ in Qatar, Mooy returned to Celtic FC where he would round out his club career by securing the Scottish treble – the Scottish League Cup, Scottish Cup and Scottish Premiership.

The announcement brings to a close more than a decade in green and gold for Mooy, who said it had been an honour to represent his country.

“I’ve been lucky enough to live out my dreams of playing for Australia,” Mooy said.

“As a young kid, starting out in football you watch the national team on TV and imagine yourself there one day – to have lived that is something I’m truly grateful for.

“I’ve had the honour of playing alongside some of the best footballers that Australia has produced, creating lifelong friendships along the way.

“I wanted to thank my teammates, coaches and the backroom staff for all their support and guidance during my time with the Socceroos, the comradery amongst the group is something I’ll never forget.

“This has been a hugely difficult decision [to retire], but I feel the time is right for the next generation to be given the opportunity to experience international football.

“As a group we were able to set a new bar [in Qatar] for the Socceroos and I believe we have the talent coming through to build upon that as work begins towards 2026,” Mooy concluded.

Aaron Mooy

Football Australia CEO, James Johnson was full of praise for the contribution Mooy had made to the footballing landscape in Australia.

“When you take a moment and look at the trajectory of Aaron’s career, along with his various achievements for club and country, you see the marks of an eminently talented footballer,” Johnson said.

“In now closing this chapter of his life, Aaron joins some illustrious company, having played consistently in the EPL, appeared at multiple [FIFA] World Cups and capped more than 50 times for his country.

“Aaron epitomises the hard-working values that underpin the Socceroos and our junior national teams, a pathway he was able to tread on his way to success in leagues across the world – a fitting example to young footballers across the country.

“On behalf of Football Australia, I’d like to thank Aaron for his contribution to the Socceroos and wish he and his family all the best in the next chapter of their lives.”

Subway Socceroos’ Head Coach, Graham Arnold said he was immensely proud of what Mooy had achieved while representing the senior national team.

“We saw Aaron’s qualities as a player on full display in Qatar, he was tremendous throughout the World Cup and integral to us reaching the Round of 16,” Arnold said.

“I thought the same watching him in [the 2018 World Cup] Russia, he was able to rise to the occasion on football’s biggest stage and show just how talented he truly is.

“A player like Aaron is a joy to coach, an exceptional talent who embodied the spirit of the Socceroos every time he took the pitch.

“Aaron would be the first to say he was never the most vocal of players, but he had his own way of leading the group – through his actions. I think that’s something that a lot of our players will have learnt from over the years, he’s left a huge mark on this team and the individuals within it,” Arnold explained.
Aaron Mooy

Subway Socceroos Captain, Mathew Ryan said Mooy’s exploits on the field had helped inspire the next generation of Socceroos.

“I’ve had the privilege of sharing many dressing rooms with Aaron and I’ve been lucky enough to see him go about his business in club football and for the Socceroos,” Ryan remarked.

“An amazing player who played such an important role for us over the past decade, he’ll certainly be missed.

“What he’s been able to achieve in his career has helped pave the way for the next generation, and we’re now seeing that through the young, Australian talent playing club football overseas and those entering the national team set up.

“I know he’s not one for the attention an announcement like this brings, but I think it’s important we celebrate what Aaron’s done for the Socceroos and Australian football,” Ryan concluded.

Aaron Mooy:

Debut: 7 December 2012 v Guam – Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong
Socceroo number: 558
Caps: 57
Goals: 7
FIFA World Cup appearances: 7 (Russia – 2018 and Qatar – 2022)