Mark Bosnich, one of the Socceroos’ best goalkeepers and a former EPL great, says current-day custodian Mat Ryan is on track to be the Socceroos' greatest-ever gloveman.
Former Manchester United and Chelsea shot-stopper Bosnich is one of a host of brilliant goalkeeper’s Australia has produced over the years.
The likes of Mark Schwarzer, Zeljko Kalac, Jimmy Fraser, Robbie Zabica, Jeff Olver, Terry Greedy, Tony Franken and Ron Corry are just a few of the outstanding goalkeepers to wear the green and gold.
But Ryan, now plying his trade with Spanish La Liga powerhouse Valencia, could go to the top of the class the way his career has taken off over the last couple of years.
“He can become the best keeper in Australian history, better than any one of us,’’ Bosnich told news.com.au.
“At 23, he’s already played in a World Cup. But more importantly, he’s playing at an even higher level and that’s the Champions League.
“It’s the best of the best, regardless of where you’re born. He’s right on course. He won keeper of year in Belgium and now he’s arguably in the best league in the world.
“At comparative ages, Mat is well ahead of any of us.”
Ryan, who has played 21 times for the Socceroos, will arrive in camp in Perth on Tuesday to prepare for Thursday night’s World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh.
It’s the start of a host of big games for the kid from western Sydney will be involved in, including the start of Valencia’s UEFA Champions League campaign next month.
Bosnich believes pitting himself against the world’s best players in the Champions League will propel Ryan to a whole new level as a ‘keeper.
“With the ball at his feet I can’t think of anyone that’s better than him around the world. He’s as good as [German ‘keeper Manuel] Neuer. It’s like having extra outfield player,” Bosnich said.
“With shot stopping, some keepers make saves that turn games and he’s one of those. We saw it against Monaco in both legs, especially the first.
“Another reason is he’s playing in one of the best leagues in the world. And against the best players, you’re only going to get better.
“Everyone’s got things they can work on. One thing that will come with experience is his decision making. That will lead to an ability to dominate the box.
“Once he gets that up there in the other levels, he can be as good as anyone in the world. He’s just got to keep playing at the highest level and stay in the side.
"Mentally, he’ll develop naturally.”