Advertisement

Matildas star’s club future unknown

Australia v China PR -
Matildas star Hayley Raso (right) hopes to find the back of the net at the Paris Olympics. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

Matildas winger Hayley Raso remains coy on where she will continue her club career following her departure from Real Madrid, but intends on making an eventual return to the A-League.

Raso, 29, became the first Australian to play for the Spanish giants when she joined Las Blancas in July last year from English outfit Manchester City.

However, last month it was announced that she was leaving the Madrid club after just one season, with Raso saying “it’s time for me to move on to a new adventure”.

Where that “adventure” will be remains unknown, with Raso saying her current attention was not on club football but instead on helping the Matildas claiming a medal at the upcoming Paris Olympic Games.

“I suppose all of that will come to light in due course,” she said when asked about her future at club level.

“At the moment all my focus is just on the Olympics … and doing what I can with the Matildas, and I’ll sort the rest out after that.”

Australia v China PR - "Til It's Done Farewell" Series
Hayley Raso and the Matildas have an Olympic medal in their sights. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

The former Brisbane Roar, Canberra United and Melbourne Victory star’s most recent women’s A-League stint was in the 2019-20 season before she moved to the UK to join Everton.

“When I played there a long time ago it was very different,” Raso said.

“I know that European football and (its) growth has been huge. It’s been amazing to see, and that’s why a lot of us are over (in Europe), playing at that level, so we’re able to be at a top level when we come into the national team.

“The A-League still has a little way to go to get there, but hopefully one day.

“I did enjoy playing in A-League. It’s home. I’m sure that one day I will end up back there and maybe finish off my career in front of my friends and family.”

For now, Raso has an Olympic medal to aim for following the Matildas’ fourth-placed finishes at the 2023 Women’s World Cup and the Tokyo Olympics three years ago.

“Playing in the World Cup, we were able to feel what it’s like to play in these pressure moments, to play in these big tournaments, so we know we can play under immense pressure,” she said.

“Coming into the Olympics now, it’s tough. All the opponents are tough. You’re always going to be playing a hard game, but we know that there’s a medal on the line, and that’s something we’re looking to achieve.

“We’re up and we’re ready for it.”

The Matildas’ Olympic Games campaign starts on July 26 (AEST) against Germany in Marseille.

Preparations will step up a notch at the Australians’ training camp in Marbella, Spain on Sunday morning when they meet Canada in a warm-up clash.

Matildas captain Steph Catley will miss the games due to a lower leg injury.

“She’s on an individualised plan working on that (injury), so she’ll just be trusting the guidelines of the physios, and we’ll go from there,” Raso said of Catley.