Australia call up red-hot veteran Fornaroli for Asian Cup

Melbourne Victory's veteran striker Bruno Fornaroli has been selected in Australia's Asian Cup squad after a stunning start in the A-League.

The Uruguay-born 36-year-old returns to Graham Arnold's setup for the first time in nearly two years after scoring 12 goals in eight games in the Australian top flight.

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Thomas Deng and goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas also return to the 26-man squad named on Friday for the continental showpiece in Qatar which starts Jan. 12.

Nathaniel Atkinson and Riley McGree have struggled with injuries in recent months but have been cleared to make the trip to Doha, Football Australia said in a statement.

Despite recently undergoing surgery on a fractured cheekbone, goalkeeper Mat Ryan was included and will be given every opportunity to prove his fitness, FAA added.

Forward John Iredale and Bolton Wanderers' Gethin Jones, a former Wales youth player, have made their first Socceroos squad, while Norway-based midfielder Patrick Yazbek is the third uncapped player.

"At our core we have an extremely connected group, who have built a strong culture over many years," Arnold said in a statement.

"I'm excited about the potential within this group and am looking forward to getting into camp in the New Year."

Australia squad:

Nathaniel Atkinson, Keanu Baccus, Aziz Behich, Jordy Bos, Martin Boyle, Cameron Burgess, Thomas Deng, Mitchell Duke, Bruno Fornaroli, Joe Gauci, Craig Goodwin, John Iredale, Jackson Irvine, Gethin Jones, Riley McGree, Connor Metcalfe, Lewis Miller, Aiden O'Neill, Kye Rowles, Mat Ryan (capt), Sam Silvera, Harry Souttar, Lawrence Thomas, Marco Tilio, Patrick Yazbek, Kusini Yengi (Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)