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Graham Arnold extends contract as coach of Australia's Socceroos

Australia's coach Graham Arnold says Monday he will lead the side's next World Cup campaign. ©AFP

Sydney (AFP) - The coach of the Australian men's football team announced Monday he will lead the side's next World Cup campaign, after masterminding a shock top 16 finish in Qatar. 

Graham Arnold faced the axe as the Socceroos struggled through World Cup qualifying, but tightened his grip on the top job with upset wins over Denmark and Tunisia in the tournament's group stages. 

The Australians defied low expectations to reach the last 16 for only the second time in their history, where they lost a thrilling tussle against eventual winners Argentina. 

Arnold said Monday he had signed a four-year extension, and would lead the team's quest to qualify for the 2026 World Cup in North America. 

"I love Australia and I love Australian football, and nothing in football can ever match the elation, pride and sense of achievement I and the entire set-up felt in Qatar," he said in a statement.

"The hunger to continue in the role has never been stronger and I know I have more to give to the Socceroos' program and Australian football."

Football Australia chair Chris Nikou said Graham's record was "exceptional". 

Arnold won 56 caps for the Socceroos as a player, and has coached the team since 2018.

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