SA-born midfielder earns FIFA World Cup call-up

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 25: Keanu Baccus of Australia  in action during the International friendly match between the New Zealand All Whites and Australia Socceroos at Eden Park on September 25, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 25: Keanu Baccus of Australia in action during the International friendly match between the New Zealand All Whites and Australia Socceroos at Eden Park on September 25, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

South African-born midfielder Keanu Baccus, the younger brother of former Kaizer Chiefs player Kearyn Baccus, has been named in Australia's 26-man squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold announced his 26-man squad for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup with Durban-born midfielder Keanu Baccus included among the contingent set to travel to Qatar to take part in the showpiece tournament.

The 24-year-old currently plies his trade with St. Mirren in the Scottish Premiership where he has featured in all 13 of the club's league matches this season, scoring twice along the way.

Baccus, whose family emigrated to Australia when he was still a young child, made his debut for his adoptive country in September when he featured as a second-half substitute during a friendly against neighbours New Zealand.

He had previously represented the country at both U19, U20 and U23 level, and was part of the squad which competed at the 2020 Olympic Games held in Tokyo last year.

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Baccus features in the World Cup squad alongside a handful of internationally recognised names, including former Brighton & Hove Albion and Arsenal goalkeeper Matthew Ryan, Celtic midfielder Aaron Mooy, and veteran forward Matthew Leckie, among others.

Australia have been drawn in Group D alongside Denmark, Tunisia and reigning champions, France, and will open their campaign against the latter on 22 November 2022.

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