Alex Rufer

14 Midfielder
biography-icon Biography

#14 ALEX RUFER BIO – DOB 12/6/96

Alex Rufer is the longest-serving player in the Phoenix squad and has played more than 100 matches for the club.

The combative midfielder joined the Nix ahead of the 2013-14 A-League season and made his club debut as a 17-year-old in February 2014.

He made a further three appearances the following season and then represented New Zealand at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2015, playing in three of their games. He went on to make his senior debut later that year against Myanmar.

Rufer’s career was stalled in late 2015, when he suffered a broken ankle and was side-lined for eight months. He returned for the 2016-17 season and despite making just three A-League appearances he was selected in the All Whites squad for the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.

He featured 11 times in the following A-League campaign before becoming cementing himself as a regular in Ufuk Talay’s first season. After being named vice-captain at just 23, Rufer started 24 matches in the 2019-20 season as the Nix achieved their highest ever regular season finish of third.

Rufer started 14 of the club’s first 15 games in his eighth season at the Phoenix but featured sparingly over the remaining 11 matches as the team narrowly missed out on a place in the finals.

Alex Rufer was named Wellington Phoenix captain on the eve of the 2021-22 campaign. He was the first homegrown to be appointed club captain in the Phoenix’s 15-year history and just the fifth fulltime skipper after Ross Aloisi, Andrew Durante, Steven Taylor and Ulises Dávila.

He started the first 14 matches of the 2021/21 A-League season, playing a key role in the team’s seven-game unbeaten run which put the Nix in finals contention.

Rufer also helped guide the Phoenix to the semi-finals of the FFA Cup. He deputised at centre back in the team’s dramatic quarter-final win over reigning A-League champions Melbourne City.

His season was cut short in March, when he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

> 2022-23 season

Alex Rufer returned eight months after his operation, coming off the bench to make his season debut against Adelaide United in round eight.

He reclaimed the captain’s armband for Phoenix’s 11th round match against Sydney FC in January 2023 and memorably scored his first A-League goal against Central Coast Mariners at Sky Stadium a fortnight later.

Rufer also scored from the penalty spot against Adelaide United in round 21 before being recalled to the All Whites after a long absence and starting the first international against China at Mt Smart Stadium in March.

He started 15 of the Nix’s final 17 A-League matches, including the elimination final defeat to Adelaide United.

Alex Rufer signed a new three-year deal with the Phoenix in March.









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