Ivan Vicelich honoured by FoF
Long-time All White Ivan Vicelich has become the second recipient of Friends of Football’s Medal of Excellence.
He received the honour at the Celebration of Excellence event in Auckland where tributes were made by his footballing peers.
The Medal of Excellence is awarded to those in the game deemed to have excelled in their contribution to New Zealand football.
Last year, legendary 1982 All Whites coach John Adshead became the first recipient of the medal, when Friends of Football hosted a tribute dinner in Auckland. Vicelich joins Adshead, having achieved at every level of the game.
This summer Vicelich will play his 500th senior club game when he plays for Auckland City in the ASB Premiership.
At club level, he’s already clocked up 495 first team appearances for clubs in New Zealand, Holland and China – with 120 of them for Auckland City.
At representative level, he’s played for New Zealand at Under 17, Under 20 and Under 23 level, making his full international debut in 1995 against Uruguay (a game we lost 7-0).
Since then, Ivan has made more appearances in full internationals than any other All White – 88 appearances over a period of 18 years. This year, he announced his retirement from international football – but he did the same in 2008, saying his days as an All White were over.
Of course, two years after his last retirement, he went to South Africa and helped the All Whites go undefeated through the FIFA World Cup Finals.
During his career, he’s helped teams win four ASB Chatham Cups; four NZ Football Championships and four Oceania Football Confederation club championships.
In 2002, he was awarded New Zealand’s International Player of the Year and in 2009, he was named Oceania Footballer of the Year. Now he adds another award to the long list he’s earned as one of New Zealand and Oceania’s greatest footballers.
Headline Photo: Louis Roberts.