If you know, you know. To many, it may have seemed like just another Socceroos fan right behind the goal trying to put off the Peruvian about to take his penalty kick.
But that #15 green and gold shirt being waved by the mystery fan in the terraces behind the goal has special meaning to Australian football.
It was a unique tribute to the Socceroos’ Golden Generation…and an inspiration to the new generation now going to Australia’s fifth World Cup in a row.
If you know, you know. To many, it may have seemed like just another Socceroos fan behind the goal trying to put off the Peruvian about to take his penalty kick
The #15 green and gold shirt being waved by the mystery fan behind the goal has special meaning to Australian football
Almost 17 years ago, the shirt was worn by John Aloisi as he stepped up to take his spot kick in the do-or-die shootout against Uruguay one November night at Sydney Olympic Stadium in 2005.
Moments later, 32 long years of pain since Australia’s first World Cup in 1974 ended in an explosion of tear-stained celebration.
Aloisi ripped off that legendary #15 shirt, waving it furiously in the air as he sprinted towards fans and teammates in jubilation. The picture is an Australian football icon.
John Aloisi wore the #15 shirt in 2005 when he scored his penalty kick against Uruguay in a similar sudden death shootout and sent the Socceroos to their first World Cup in 32 years
As dawn broke over Australia on Tuesday morning, that one fan in the stadium in Doha made sure that 2005 moment was not forgotten in 2022.
In an inspiring tribute to Australia’s past, the fan waved it defiantly in the face of Peruvian Alex Valera as he ran up to the ball.
Substitute goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne’s unique Wiggles-style war dance on the goalline worked its magic as Valera took his best shot
Redmayne dived to his right. Australia’s heart stopped for a second. Destinies were made in that moment. Redmayne’s gloved hands reached out… and saved it.
Across the nation, fans celebrated like it was 2005 again, in near-disbelief after a torturous qualifying campaign, played almost entirely on foreign soil.
Across the nation, fans celebrated like it was 2005 again, in near-disbelief after a torturous qualifying campaign, played almost entirely on foreign soil
It might have been the fifth World Cup in a row the Socceroos have now qualified for – but the shock and joy was perhaps the greatest since 2005
It might have been the fifth World Cup in a row the Socceroos have now qualified for – but the shock and joy was perhaps the greatest since 2005.
In Doha, one fan knew. One fan believed. He understood. And he was there for it…
Incredibly, it can now be revealed the Socceroos superfan is not even Australian – and is actually Austrian, Tobias Ortner, who lives in Basel, Switzerland.
He revealed he has a soft spot for the Socceroos after falling in love with the country and a Brisbane woman more than 10 years ago.
The Socceroos superfan is not even Australian – and is actually Austrian Tobias Ortner (front right) who fell in love with the country and a Brisbane woman more than 10 years ago
‘I don’t have an Aussie passport but my heart is green and gold,’ Mr Ortner, 34, told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I travelled to Australia for the first time to Oz in 2010 for three weeks and loved it so much that I came back and stayed in Brisbane for nine months in 2011.
‘I love football and my love for the country made start cheering for the Socceroos.
‘My first game was a friendly in Scotland [in 2012] where I met my first Socceroos supporters friends. We’re still in contact today and travel to different games together when possible.’
Austrian, Tobias Ortner, 34, who lives in Basel, Switzerland, went to his first Socceroos game in 2012 to see a friendly against Scotland in Edinburgh
Although the relationship with his Queenslander girlfriend didn’t last, his love affair with the country and the Australian national team survives stronger than ever.
‘What I love about the Socceroos? The players and the staff are down to earth people.’ he added. ‘Sometimes you get to chat, say hi, take a photo.
‘No need for more, the simple things.’
But he admitted: ‘I do feel embarrassed sometimes because I’m not even Australian.
‘People can tell easily as I don’t have the accent! When travelling and meeting Aussies, I usually have to explain my backstory.
‘If it’s travelling with the Green and Gold Army or with my friends, we always have an amazing time and you get to discover new countries and cultures.’
Tobias Ortner bought the 2005 Aloisi shirt online and only took it to the Peru game by chance
He revealed it was simply a quirk of fate and chance that he took the Aloisi shirt with him to the game in Doha on Tuesday.
‘I bought it online last year and I don’t really know why I took this one with me,’ he said.
‘Maybe the memories of 2005 game [even although] I didn’t attend and wasn’t supporting the Socceroos at the time.
‘It did come to mind that the game could be as tough as Uruguay 2005 and may go to a penalty shootout.’
Tobias Ortner has travelled the world following the Socceroos, including wearing his green and gold shirt while on holiday in the Galapagos Islands
He added: ‘My mate got the tickets in the section behind the goal and when I saw that the penalties will be done in front of us, I just positioned myself behind the goal.
‘We got the result we wanted and I got an unwanted moment of fame. It’s cool…but definitely didn’t expect the massive feedback.
‘I’m very lucky the result turned out that way as I told the people we would win on penalties!’