Socceroo rising star Matt Leckie says he’s comfortable with some reports claiming he’s worth up to $10m after two stunning displays at the World Cup.
The 23-year-old has caught the eye for the Socceroos after the Chile and Holland games at Brazil 2014.
And another good showing against Spain on Monday (Tuesday 2am AEST) will only increase his value – even though his new German second division club Ingolstadt signed him for a bargain of just over $1m before the World Cup.
While it remains to be seen if his new club choose to cash in on their star signing, Leckie says he’s excited by the hype and looking forward to testing himself against another world class opposition.
“It’s a good feeling,” he said when asked what it felt like to be rated so highly.
“For me it’s about trying to reach the highest level I can as a footballer. I’ve only been on the [Socceroo] scene for six months so it was important to give it my best.”
And Leckie has no regrets signing a long-term deal with Ingolstadt, even though if he’d held on he could’ve had his pick of clubs.
“Everything happens for a reason and I’m excited to start my career with Ingolstadt,” he said.
The Socceroo winger admitted he’d surprised even himself with how well he and the team have done.
“I didn’t think we’d compete this well. There were times, especially in the Holland game, where we dominated.
“I think the way I’ve played I had great confidence going in after the way I played for my club.
“No-one expected it. The whole world thought we’d put ten men behind the ball… but it’s been exciting for the country how we’ve played.
“Ange has given me the opportunity to play and I’ve delivered with some performances. And it’s helped the way we’ve played in these last two games.
“It’s probably been the best football the country’s played in a long time ... hopefully a win against Spain and it means we’ve taken a lot out of this World Cup.”
The Socceroos had their final training session at their Vitoria base on Saturday morning before flying to Curitiba for the game with Spain on Monday (Tues 2am AEST).
Leckie’s attention is now on the Spain game and he said coach Ange Postecoglou and his coaching team had devised another specific game plan.
However the former Adelaide United winger doesn’t know if he’s starting up front in place of Tim Cahill or in his regular role on the right side of an attacking three in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
“We’ve got to concentrate and be compact. We know they pass the ball well… when we get our chances we have to put them away. I’m happy for both [roles].”
And the coach’s message is a win would improve a statistic for the Socceroos at World Cups.
“Ange has said we’ve only won two games at a World Cup as a nation, so for us to get a win – against world champions – would be massive for the country.”
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