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Mark Viduka wins Alex Tobin Medal
16:51 AEST Wed Dec 1 2010
Former Socceroos captain Mark Viduka.
Mark Viduka has become the fourth winner of Professional Footballers Australia's Alex Tobin Medal.

Former Socceroos captain Mark Viduka has added to his glittering career by becoming just the fourth winner of Professional Footballers Australia's Alex Tobin Medal.

The 35-year-old retired international follows in the footsteps of inaugural winners Joe Marston and Johnny Warren, and last year's winner Liverpool legend Craig Johnston.

The Tobin medal is awarded to those who have displayed leadership, achievement as a player and service and dedication to the game.

Current Melbourne Heart defender and national team member Simon Colosimo described Viduka as having a "wow factor".

"Mark was an over-age player at the Sydney Olympic Games and that was the first instance of (me) playing with him and he had that wow factor then," Colosimo said.

"He'd come to training and the level of football changed.

"As a young kid he would approach you and come and have a chat and (you would) be overawed by it but he is just so down to earth."

Colosimo said Viduka's greatest quality was respect of his peers.

"He was under a lot of scrutiny from the media - doesn't score enough goals, doesn't move around enough - but ask every player who's ever played with him in the same team and they'll say Mark Viduka is the most important player," he added.

"You know you can play it up to him and he'll keep it and get other boys involved and play for the team.

"He may not have scored as many goals as we would have loved for him or as he deserved to score but he was definitely the most important."

Viduka began his career with Melbourne Croatia in 1993 before being recruited by Croatia Zagreb, where he played 84 games and scored 40 goals.

He played with Celtic, Middlesbrough and finally Newcastle United but spent the bulk of his career in the Premier League at Leeds after being signed for a $10 million fee.

Viduka played 130 games for 59 goals at Leeds before being sold to Middlesbrough in 2004.

He was a member of the Under 20 national squad from 1993-95, the Under 23 team from 1994-96 and played for Australia from 1994-2007, scoring a total of 60 goals.


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