AAP Soccer

Kruse moving beyond World Cup attacks

By AAP Newswire

Robbie Kruse is embracing his role as a Socceroos leader just months after vicious attacks from online trolls plagued his World Cup campaign.

The boo-boys were out for Kruse in Russia after half-chances went begging during a do-or-die clash with Denmark, a match that finished 1-1 and proved a pivot point in Australia's tournament.

With exciting talent Daniel Arzani, Kruse's flashy replacement on the wing in all three matches, providing late light and colour in Australia's performances, the veteran wore the frustrations of football fans with online heckling that went beyond banter.

The Germany-based winger was shielded from the worst of it by the Australian set-up but Kruse said some of it seeped through.

"Obviously I heard of it through some of the boys ... it's not nice but I've learned to deal with it," he said.

"Social media gives really unimportant people (the ability) to voice their opinions.

"It's really not important for me, I listen to the people who I need to: my family, my coaches and most importantly my teammates.

"If they're disappointed in me then I'd be more affected but they're really happy with the way I do things.

"I do a lot of stuff that some people don't notice on the football pitch. My teammates really value that in my game."

True to character, Kruse responded with a near best-afield performance against Peru as the Socceroos chased a last-gasp exit from their group, only to fall short.

The mercurial talent is now one of the wise old heads of the national team.

Only Mark Milligan (71) has more caps than Kruse (67) in the current camp, which takes on Kuwait on Tuesday morning (AEDT) in the first match of Graham Arnold's new tenure.

As if to cement Kruse's maturation, he turned 30 last week and has been named in a six-man leadership group by Arnold, including Milligan, Trent Sainsbury, Mat Ryan, Aaron Mooy and Mat Leckie.

"It's important that all 23 people are able to voice their opinion and that's what Arnie's brought to the table," he said.

"We've been talking internally as a team and as a staff about what we want to be known as. Everyone has to buy into that and if you don't, you'll find yourself on the outside.

"We want to create a positive culture and at the moment Arnie has done that."