Michael Turnbull
Former footballer Michael Turnbull was the runner-up of the first season of "The Bachelorette Australia." Twitter/Michael Turnbull

Footballer Michael Turnbull is at the receiving end of an Internet backlash these days, and the reason behind all the criticism is the false claim made by Turnbull that he played for Australian Socceroos and took part in the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.

Turnbull, 34, who is currently starring in “The Bachelorette,” is a retired Melbourne Victory A-League goalkeeper. The player made a controversial statement during the opening night of "The Bachelorette" last Wednesday.

“The highlight of my career was playing for Australia and the Socceroos and also the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games,” he said in "The Bachelorette Australia" premier episode.

Turnbull is reportedly upset over the backlash and comments that have been pouring over the Internet because he believes he has spoken the truth about his career. He became a known face in Australian football circles during the initial days of his career at Marconi Stallions, where he worked significantly on his game before the demise of the old National Soccer League, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

After the old National Soccer League was stalled in 2004, Turnbull was seen in only six top-flight football games. Notably, Turnbull has never played for Socceroos – the informal name for the Australian National Football Team.

He has also never played in the Sydney Olympics, despite the fact that he represented Australia at the youth level. He was nominated in the team only as a substitute in five UEFA Cup matches in the 2004 to 2005 season with Standard Liege, but did not get field time for any of the games, according to The World Game.

During his club career, Turnbull shared the ground with the Marconi Stallions in the National Soccer League between 1999 and 2004. Despite training with AS Roma, Turnbull was not signed by the Italian club to be a part of their team. The tall claims by Turnbull were mocked by Indigenous Australian football player Jade North on Twitter.

Turnbull’s foray into sporting endeavours has helped him churn out a lot of money, but his investment in several business, including a real estate firm and a sports technology company, makes up the bulk of his $12 million fortune, Famous Magazine said.

The professional footballer and “The Bachelorette Australia” star has been a fan favourite after he succeeded in establishing a strong bond with Sam Frost, with many believing he could win the show.

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