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John Aloisi as Brisbane Roar coach on November 28, 2015. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)
John Aloisi as Brisbane Roar coach on November 28, 2015. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

John Aloisi: The night his shirt made Aussie history

As we head towards Australia Day and remember this country's legends, our friends at Bundaberg Rum give you the chance to put forward your memories of our sporting greats. Hit us up in the comments field below and tell us your favourite John Aloisi story.

Meanwhile you can nominate your own local sporting legend and win prizes for yourself and them. More info here.

You're not a real Aussie if you don't know who John Aloisi is.

Australia's John Aloisi celebrates after scoring the final ball in a shoot out to defeat Uruguay at Telstra stadium in Sydney, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2005.
Australia's John Aloisi celebrates after scoring the final ball in a shoot out to defeat Uruguay at Telstra stadium in Sydney, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2005.

Even non-sport lovers would have at least heard of him or know about that bloke who ran around ANZ Stadium in Sydney a decade ago swinging his shirt around his head like a madman after kicking the biggest goal in our sporting history.

For those living under a boulder, it was the night of November 16, 2005, and Australia needed to beat South American football giants Uruguay for a spot in the 2006 World Cup.

Like all perfect sporting dramas the match went to a penalty shootout to decide who went to the World Cup and it was left to veteran Socceroo John Aloisi to get us through with one decent strike from the spot.

The scene was set. The crowd went silent. He lined it up and calmly slotted the penalty home. This set Aloisi off on his famous shirtless run around the stadium as the rest of the nation went completely nuts.

Even soccer haters were watching and chanting "Aloisi, Aloisi, Aloisi" from pubs and living rooms around the country.

It was a moment that was electric then, and even more than 10 years later, still sparks a tear of joy for any true patriotic Aussie.

It's a night John Aloisi helped us show up the soccer powerhouses and finally earn our spot in the biggest sporting event in the world.

It's also the night we started calling soccer 'football' and a night John Aloisi became an Aussie legend.

Aloisi had dreamt of scoring that goal well before it happened.

He even told his family straight after playing just five minutes in the Socceroos failed 2001 World Cup qualifier against Uruguay that he was going to score a winner to get Australia into a World Cup.

And he continued telling them he would score in the lead-up to netting his famous 2005 penalty shot, so he actually believed it was going to happen.

What many didn't know about John Aloisi up until his big moment was that he already had one of the most impressive football resumes of any player Australia has ever produced.

The goal-scoring machine played in the top leagues of England, Spain and Italy and had been a key striker for the Socceroos for years.

But it was that one epic night that lifted him and the Socceroos to Australian legend status and made the nation sit up and take notice.

Unfortunately, his goal celebration may have spawned a generation of annoying, bare-chested shirt twirlers but John Aloisi got us into our first World Cup forever so he'll always be forgiven.

Make your own Aussie legends