FIFA World Cup 2014 gave birth to a new Mat Ryan

For Mat Ryan the FIFA World Cup 2014 was a reality check. After conceding nine goals in three games, the 22-year-old found it difficult to get over the defeat.

He entered the tournament as the Belgian Pro League’s goalkeeper of the year but somehow failed to make a mark in the World Cup. But he wants to see the entire experience as an eye-opener and wants his team to aim at winning the AFC Asian Cup in January.

Know Mat

Mathew David “Mat” Ryan was born in Plumpton, Sydney, Australia. He was voted as Belgium Goalkeeper of the Year and had also won the A-League’s equivalent award in the 2011/2012 season. His performance for Club Brugge attracted the interest of several big European clubs as a result he finally made it to the Australia’s 30 men squad to the World Cup in Brazil.

Haunted by his performance

The green and gold glove-man was a clear choice of the Australian coach Ange Postecoglou. However his Brazilian tour taught him how far he still has to go to match with the best. He himself admitted that his performance in a 3-2 loss to Netherlands at the FIFA World Cup haunts him. The goalkeeper was not only disappointed by his effort but he felt that he left his country down.

A special meeting

The Socceroos’ goalkeeper was ecstatic after he met the Australian football and Rugby league champion Jarred Hayne at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday morning. Ryan was four years junior to Hayne and they attended the same high school. He was also raised by a single mother in Sydney’s Western suburbs. The meeting was a red letter day for the 22 year-old and inspired him to follow the path of hard work and determination.

The FIFA World Cup 2014 definitely bought out the best in Mat Ryan and he is now geared up for the next challenge.