Mark Bosnich (born January 13, 1972 in Fairfield, New South
Wales), is Australia's best ever association football (soccer)
goalkeeper, representing his country on many occasions and
playing for English Premier League clubs Aston Villa, Manchester
United, and Chelsea.
Growing up in a suburb of Sydney, Bosnich played briefly for
Sydney Croatia (a team in the Australian National Soccer League),
before moving, at age 16, to join Manchester United. After two
seasons there, he left to join Aston Villa, where he made his
reputation as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League.
His appearances with the Australian national team were quite
rare (as indeed they are for most Australian players, as a full-strength
Australian side is only assembled for World Cup qualification
playoffs), but memorable, keeping Australia in the away leg of
its home-and-away playoff with Iran to enter the 1998 World Cup.
His heroics were wasted after midfield defensive errors and
missed opportunities allowed Iran a 2-2 draw in the home leg and
thus let them through on away goals.
In 1999 he transferred back to Manchester United, where he
immediately established himself as Peter Schmeichel's successor
as the first team keeper. However, the next season he was soon
relegated to third-choice keeper. He chose to stay at United and
try to regain his spot rather than accept being loaned to
Scottish club Celtic. He transferred to Chelsea in 2001, but
again failed to gain a place in the first team.
Bosnich went through an apparently bitter marriage breakup
around this period, and in mid-2002 his football career reached
rock-bottom when he tested positive for cocaine. When a second
sample tested positive some time later he was suspended from
playing for 9 months and also sacked by Chelsea.