22/05/2024

Mat Ryan and the Socceroos will maintain the same mentality for their clash against Argentina. (Picture: Socceroos)

Australia will treat their friendly against reigning World Cup winners Argentina like any other game on Thursday when the sides face off in China.

Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan said that although the clubs aren’t playing for anything of significance, he and the Aussies will maintain the same mentality.

“Lots of people call [these matches] friendlies but for me and what we try and instil here within the environment is that we try and treat every game with the same approach,” he said.

“Whether it’s a World Cup group match, World Cup knockout match, an Asian qualifier or a so-called non-meaningful match, we go out there and prepare for each match with the same approach.”

Thursday’s match will be a 2022 World Cup round of 16 rematch that saw the eventual champions progress in an encounter that nearly saw Australia equalise late. However, the Aussies were denied the opportunity to go to extra time after a last-minute save by Emiliano Martinez.

Ryan said that despite falling short against the Argentines last time out, they are eager to compete against the quality outfit.

“We faced them not too long ago and we were unable to get the job done,” he said.

“So we’re very much looking forward to the opportunity to play them again and test ourselves against I guess the best nation in the world.”

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As for the 31-year-old, he is benefiting from an eventful 2022/23 domestic season which included the keeper living out his dream of playing Champions League football for Copenhagen.

However, a lack of game time saw the New South Welshman move to Dutch club AZ Alkmaar during the January transfer window. He spoke about the mindset that comes with playing limited minutes. 

“As a footballer, we’re a little bit powerless when we’re in a team and you’re not playing,” Ryan said. 

“When the transfer windows are open, us as the player have a little bit more opportunity to try and push a move to go out and seek more game.”

Ryan played 18 matches for AZ Alkmaar to finish the season, playing a pivotal role in their Conference League semi-final run.

Looking back on the past 12 months, the veteran said he has no regrets about how the 2022/23 season played out.

“I didn’t want to take any risk of perhaps missing out on that great opportunity [to play for AZ Alkmaar],” he said.

“I [feel] as if I’ve made the right decisions and I’d probably make the same decisions again.”  

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