Mat Ryan has the quality to be the Socceroos’ first-choice goal-keeper for the next “three or four” World Cups, according to one of his main competitors for his position in Brazil.
The Club Brugge shot-stopper was Ange Postecoglou’s No.1 at the recent FIFA World Cup, playing all three group matches against Chile, Netherlands and Spain.
Despite the Socceroos’ conceding nine goals, the 22-year-old made some superb saves, carrying on the form that saw him take out the Belgian Super League’s Goal-keeper of the Year award last season.
Watching on from the bench was fellow gloveman Eugene Galekovic, who was left impressed with the way Ryan handled himself on the world’s biggest stage.
While Ryan was a dejected figure after his error allowed the Netherlands to pinch a 3-2 win in the second game in Porto Alegre, Galekovic believes the way he bounced back shows his outstanding talent.
“Every goalkeeper makes mistakes. He was obviously very disappointed after the Dutch game but he came out against Spain and did very well,” Galekovic told www.socceroos.com.au.
“That’s the sort of things you have to get out of your mind as a goalkeeper.
“Once you make a mistake you have to get it out of your system and try and have a good game afterwards and he did that. He’s still young and he’ll only be better for it.”
Ryan has continued his strong form into this season, helping Brugge to a 2-0 win over Danish club Brondby overnight to help his side into the next round of the Europa League play-offs.
Galekovic has a big match of his own coming up this weekend as he goes into battle with the Foxtel A-League All Stars against Italian champions Juventus at ANZ Stadium.
And while Galekovic is coming towards the latter stages of his career, Ryan has many years in front of him at both club and international level.
And if he keeps developing at the same rate he has since bursting onto the Hyundai A-League scene with Central Coast in 2010, Galekovic is adamant he’ll be around for the long haul.
“You’ve got to remember he’s still a young goal-keeper and for him to get three games at the World Cup it’s going to be great for him going forward.