A Profile Of The Australia Socceroos Captain Mathew Ryan

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Matthew Ryan
Australia Socceroos Captain Matthew Ryan

Mathew Ryan was born on 8th April 1992 in Plumpton, New South Wales. He has played football from a young age and played for several youth clubs including the Marconi Stallions and Blacktown City. Ryan began his professional career with the Central Coast Mariners in 2010 for which he had a 3-year contract. He won the Joe Marston Medal for Man of the Match after the 2011 A-League Grand Final, even though it was a loss to Brisbane Roar due to a penalty shootout, and was also named A-League Young Footballer of the year for the 2010-2011 season.

He continued to be successful, being named 2011 Male U20 Player of the Year at the FFA Australian Football Awards. Ryan was also instrumental in winning the 2012 Premiership against Wellington Phoenix. More awards followed as he was named A-League Goalkeeper of the Year as well as A-League Young Footballer of the Year for a second time. In June 2012 he was bestowed with the Harry Kewell Medal for the outstanding Australian under-23-year-old player.

Even more success followed in 2013 when he moved to Belgium and signed up for Club Brugge where he played for two seasons. He was named Belgian Pro League Goalkeeper of the Year, once again cementing his skill as a goalkeeper. In 2015, his next move was to join the Spanish club Valencia, where he signed a six-year contract but ultimately returned to Belgium after 2 years and was on loan with Racing Genk while looking for a more secure deal. His top form and skill ultimately led him to the English Premier League where he played 121 games for Brighton & Hove Albion where he kept several clean sheets, most notably over West Ham and Newcastle United.

In October of 2019, Ryan became the 62nd player to captain the Australia squad and has since shone in his role. He is one of Australia’s most successful goalkeepers, with a current total of 63 caps which makes him the 2nd most capped behind his idol, fellow goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer who has an Australian record of 109 caps. Ryan will be once again helming the captaincy for the Socceroos’ next World Cup game which is due to kick off on November 23rd in Qatar against France.

He was first called up to the Socceroos squad in 2014 after his idol Mark Schwarzer announced his retirement in 2013, and was considered a serious contender as a replacement. Although the 2014 World Cup was not a success for the Socceroos, Ryan concedes that it was a learning curve for him. He was a part of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup squad, where Australia won the tournament, and Ryan was named the official best goalkeeper.

In 2021 he was loaned to Arsenal which was one of his big dreams as he had supported the club growing up and had some success there as he kept his clean sheet with a 2-0 win against Newcastle in May 2021. His most recent move, besides the captaincy of the 2022 Socceroos World Cup team, was to move back to Spain where he joined La Liga side Real Sociedad in July of 2021. His first match with the team was in September of the same year and helped them secure a win over Granada 3-2.

There is a very bright future for this football player and he has the potential to be one of the greats of the sport going forward. His skill at goalkeeping and leadership can only mean more success on the horizon. Keep an eye on Mathew Ryan if you want to see real passion for the game.

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