Michael Lynch, The Age's expert on soccer, has had extensive experience of high level journalism in the UK and Australia. Michael has covered the Socceroos through Asia, Europe and South America in their past three World Cup campaigns. He has also reported on Grands Prix and top class motor sport from Asia and Europe. He has won several national media awards for both sports and industry journalism.
Michael Lynch Sitting in the Maracana watching the two best international teams in the world it was impossible not to muse, at least momentarily, on how far Australia still has to go.
Michael Lynch in Rio de Janeiro BY MICHAEL LYNCH
Michael Lynch In a country of 200 million people, when every boy grows up wanting to play for the Selecao, there's a special kind of pressure on Brazilian footballers.
Dom Bossi and Michael Lynch The group phase of the World Cup is over, and half the squads have now departed. Traditionally its time to pick a Team of the Tournament - at least thus far.
Michael Lynch, Cuiaba It seems to be a fact of life that the older you get, not only do your memories become more sepia tinted but your recall of facts and emotions is in inverse proportion to your age.
Michael Lynch, Cuiaba, Brazil It's one thing showing your opponent respect. That is a professional courtesy and ensures you are unlikely to underestimate them.
Michael Lynch, Cuiaba Australia might have gone down 3-1 to Chile in their opening World Cup qualifying match, but they went down fighting, and coach Ange Postecoglou's men are certain to adopt the same combative attitude...
Michael Lynch With 27 goals in its first eight matches, the Brazil World Cup is confounding expectations and making the dreamers smile.
Michael Lynch There are few teams that will go into this World Cup with as inexperienced a defence as Australia.
Michael Lynch, Vitoria BY MICHAEL LYNCH
Michael Lynch, Vitoria, When the time came to make the ultimate choice it was, in the end, inevitable that Tom Rogic, the injury plagued midfielder, and Josh Kennedy, the striker with the perennial back problem, would miss...
Michael Lynch No one could accuse Socceroo coach Ange Postecoglou of gilding the lily after he had watched his side lose 1-0 to Croatia in their final pre-World Cup hit out.
Michael Lynch Postecoglou must tighten up his team's defence.
Michael Lynch Australia produce a second half as abject as their first half was excellent.
Michael Lynch Neill's sheer determination to battle on against the odds deserves some sort of recognition.
Michael Lynch Taking a punt with kids is not such a radical idea of for Ange Postecoglou's Socceroos.
Michael Lynch Taking a punt with kids is not such a radical idea for the Socceroos.
Michael Lynch Australia's golden generation has pretty much run its race.
Michael Lynch Archie Thompson is now 35, but he still harbours dreams of going to his second World Cup
Michael Lynch Harry Kewell in the Australia squad for Brazil next year? Don't bet against it.