Sydney: Socceroos captain Lucas Neill was Tuesday appointed an ambassador for the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia as the tournament marked its 500-day countdown.
"I have long dreamed of a football event this big coming to Australian shores," said Neill, 35, who has played in the Socceroos` previous two Asian Cup campaigns.
"I am passionate about growing the game in Australia and the Asian Cup is a great opportunity for fans to see world-class football right in their backyard."
The tournament kicks off on January 9, less than six months after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Australia, Japan, South Korea and North Korea have already qualified for the Asian Cup, with the other 12 teams yet to be determined.
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Newcastle and Canberra will all host matches.