Matildas star Hayley Raso says England would be the dream World Cup final opponent for Australia
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We are under five months away from the kick-off of Matilda’s World Cup campaign on home soil.
It will be the most monumental tournament in Australian football history, the first to take place in this nation.
The Matildas head into the tournament as outside favourites and currently sit twelfth in the FIFA World Rankings.
However, with the support of a home crowd behind them, there is a quiet optimism about Australia’s chances to go all the way to the final.
With a successful Cup of Nations run that saw them defeat Spain, the Czech Republic, and Jamaica in convincing fashion, Australia are in good form heading into the tournament.
#CupOfNations 𝔀𝓲𝓷𝓷𝓮𝓻𝓼 once again! 🏆🇦🇺#WeAreMatildas pic.twitter.com/KIbnuzpS97— CommBank Matildas (@TheMatildas) February 22, 2023
While the Matildas squad aren’t getting ahead of themselves, one can surely dream of the possibility of a final in front of tens of thousands of Aussies.
As for their opponent? Well for winger extraordinaire Hayley Raso, there’s one dream eleven that she would want standing opposite them if they were to go all the way.
She told SPORTbible: “At the moment, playing against England would be big.
“They’ve just won the Euros, they’re in incredible form and on such a high.
“I think an Australian vs England final would be pretty great.
“I think the path to the final doesn’t actually account for that, we’d likely play them much earlier.
“But I think that would be the ideal final.”
The UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 was held throughout England with the final against Germany held in front of 87,000 at Wembley.
It signalled a momentous occasion for women’s football with the English fans getting behind their team in serious numbers.
As a Manchester City player, and someone who has been plying their trade in England for a few years now, Raso has seen first-hand the growth of the popularity of the game there.
It’s something that is more and more looking likely to be replicated on local soil, with the popularity of the Matildas skyrocketing in recent years.
The demand to see the Australian team live led to a venue upgrade for the opening game of the World Cup campaign against Ireland - now being played at the 80,000-plus capacity Stadium Australia.
Raso continued: “We saw already that we had to change venues for the first game because of the demand.
“People want to come out and watch us and we saw how much Australia got behind the Socceroos for their World Cup campaign.
“So having it on home soil here, we’ll have our friends, families, and the rest of Australia in the crowd.
“It’s amazing, we feel like the fans will be what spurs us on to keep going in those games.”
Featured Image Credit: IOIO IMAGES / Alamy. SPP Sport Press Photo. / Alamy.
Topics: Australia, Womens Football, Football World Cup, England