The first known soccer (or ‘football’) match played at the MCG was between Victoria and Tasmania on July 17, 1912.
Since then, there have been more than 45 soccer matches at the ground, ranging from friendlies through to World Cup qualifiers and Olympic competition.
The official record crowd for an MCG soccer match is 95,446 on July 24, 2013 when English Premier League club Liverpool visited Australia for the first time to take on Melbourne Victory in a friendly.
However, approximately 104,700 people witnessed the 1956 Olympic Games Football Final between USSR and Yugoslavia, just hours before the Closing Ceremony commenced. How many of them attended the MCG purely to watch the sporting contest before the ceremony is a matter of conjecture.
The MCG also attracted a crowd of 95,103 on May 25, 2006 when the Australian team took on European champions Greece before departing for the FIFA World Cup
In 2000, the MCG hosted a number of matches in the Olympic football tournament, including an Australia-Italy group match that drew 93,225 fans through the turnstiles. The MCG also hosted an Olympic quarter final and semi final.
Some of the most famous soccer teams in the world have graced the MCG turf, including Manchester United (1999), Brazil (1999), France (2001), Greece (2006), Argentina (2007) and Liverpool (2013).
The MCG’s record in Australia’s World Cup qualifiers, though, is an unhappy one. In 1997, a FIFA World Cup qualifier between the Socceroos and Iran was drawn 2-2, with Iran progressing on the away goal rule.
Although Australia defeated Uruguay 1-0 in 2001, Uruguay progressed to the 2002 FIFA World Cup after later winning the second leg 3-0. Back to top