Born in Scotland and aged 24, he is one of the mainstays of the Socceroos.
Australia beat Denmark 1-0 in the final round of the group stage at the World Cup to reach the last 16 of a major tournament for the second time in their history, where they will face Argentina. One of the Oceania side’s key players is Harry Souttar, the nearly six-foot-two Scottish-born defender who will be looking to stop Lionel Messi and Co.
Souttar was born in Aberdeen and was discovered following a scouting process trying to recruit young players with Australian roots. He and his brother John, both of the Scotland youth team, were spotted and while his older brother went on to represent the European team, Harry decided to join the Socceroos.
The centre-back’s route to the Kangaroos’ national team was sparked by a conversation with Australian goalkeeper and Stoke teammate Adam Federici when the two met at the English Championship club in 2019.
“He spoke to people in Australia and they got in touch with me and I met Rene Meulensteen at Blackpool when I was on loan at Fleetwood Town,” Souttar recounted how his “recruitment” for the Socceroos came about.
“Basically he said ‘would you like to play for us’ and I said ‘I’d love to’. That’s how it all started.”
“He came to see me a couple of times in England. He told me about the way we play, what we like to do, the coach and what he’s like. It was a good chat about my game and my plans for the future and Australia’s plans for the future.”
“I know my brother chose to play for Scotland, but I chose to play for Australia,” Souttar added.
“Our whole family is very proud of both of us and there was no negative press there. We simply chose different paths in our football careers.”
The Stoke City centre-back is noted for his imposing physique and at 1.98m was confirmed by FIFA as the tallest outfield player at this year’s World Cup. He’s also a danger to opponents at set-pieces, where he makes the most of his height and has already scored six goals in just 10 pre-World Cup games for his national team. .
Souttar’s stats at this World Cup are brutal. In the group stages, he is the third player in the tournament to make the most clearances (20 in total), the fourth to block the most shots (7) and the fifth to win the most aerial duels (11). Important in both defensive and offensive phases of his team.
Due to his outstanding performances and physical qualities, he earned the nickname Superman from Australian fans. Souttar played every minute of Australia’s game in Qatar in the group stage.