The Sunday Mail (Queensland)



MAT Ryan is on track to be­come the best Aus­tralian goal­keeper in history, ac­cord­ing to trail­blazer Mark Bos­nich.

Ryan will ar­rive in Soc­ceroos camp to­mor­row in Perth as a UEFA Cham­pi­ons League player, af­ter his new club Va­len­cia beat Monaco to ad­vance to the group stage.

Bos­nich said Ryan’s feet were as good as any­one’s in the world – in­clud­ing Ger­many and Bay­ern Mu­nich star Manuel Neuer – and his move to Span­ish La Liga club Va­len­cia could pro­pel him to great­ness.

Aus­tralia has pro­duced a string of top-shelf keep­ers, led by Bos­nich with Mark Sch­warzer and Zeljko Kalac, plus Ron Corry, Jimmy Fraser and Terry Greedy from yes­ter­year.

Fox Sports com­men­ta­tor Bos­nich said Ryan’s $10.5 mil­lion move from Bel­gium’s Club Brugge could help him over­take the lot.

“He can be­come the best ’keeper in Aus­tralian history, bet­ter than any one of us,’’ Bos­nich said.

“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 VA­LEN­CIA THUMBS UP: Aussie ’keeper Mat Ryan. 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. At 23 I had won a ma­jor tro­phy at As­ton Villa but I hadn’t played Cham­pi­ons League, though it wasn’t as in­clu­sive back then.

“At Va­len­cia he’s al­ready played at higher club level than Sch­warzey, ex­cept for Chelsea, where his ap­pear­ances were lim­ited. But he’s got a long way to go in terms of his Aus­tralian record.’’

Ryan will make his Cham­pi­ons League de­but on Septem­ber 17 when Va­len­cia host Rus­sian club Zenit St Peters­burg.

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