All you need to know about The Matildas
Women’s soccer in Australia is arguably gaining more steam than any other sporting leagues to emerge in recent times. While soccer still wouldn’t be classed as the leading sport in this part of the world, it’s undeniable that interest is rapidly growing. In fact, back in 2008, we witnessed a brand new team come to fruition in the form of The Matildas. For those that don’t know, this is the branded name for the international women’s soccer team in Australia. And for many, the name change was quite a defining moment in the history of women’s soccer.
Up until 2008, the women’s team was simply known as the ‘Female Socceroos’. But this didn’t really separate them from the male international squad. As it happens, for many female soccer fans this was a bit of an insult as it made the team sit in the shadow of the male counterparts. However, now the team has its own identity in the form of The Matildas, and they are making their own name on the global soccer stage.
In this post, we shall be shedding some light on a few of the interesting points about The Matildas, as well as looking at their achievements.
The origin of the name
If you are an Aussie reading this, you will be all too familiar with the legendary Waltzing Matilda song. This is a song that means so much to so many, so it seems fitting that the name would be shared with a team that could have such an influence on the future of the country. Despite the obvious path to this name, the name wasn’t officially credited to the female international team until 2008. Up until that point, there was no differential between the male and female international teams, as both shared the title of ‘Socceroos’.
Thanks to the introduction of this name, it’s rather cool to hear this glorified folk song being sung in the stadiums at games. This shows that there is a key passion for watching The Matildas in action, and there is certainly no shortage of national pride here.
Their climb up the FIFA rankings
As we’ve stressed earlier in the post, Australia is still not a country that is regarded as being exceptional in soccer, by any stretch of the imagination. The country is still deeply rooted in sports such as rugby, cricket, and of course, Aussie rules. But when you look at the meteoric rise of The Matildas in the FIFA rankings, it’s clear that they mean business. At the time of writing, The Matildas are ranked 9th in the overall world rankings, which is significantly better than the male team. As it happens, The Socceroos (male team) are sitting in 41st place, which is well below the ranking of the comparably successful female squad.
To go along with that, we’ve witnessed quite a surge in online sport betting concerning The Matildas too. This shows that their success is gaining attention for those that also like to make wagers on professional sports, and this is not something to be ignored.
The true MVP
Any good international team usually has a star player or two, and in the case of The Matildas, there is one that has risen to the top. Of course, the player we are referring to here is none other than the top all-time scorer for The Matildas – Lisa De Vanna. This lady has been scoring goals for The Matildas since 2004, and she has had quite a decorated international career indeed. Having played for the team more than 150 times, it is obvious that she has had a major influence over the direction and ultimate success of the team as a whole.
Given the longevity and proven success of this striker, she will undoubtedly go down as one of the best ever when she chooses to retire from professional soccer. And like all legends, she will give way to one of the rising stars to replace her position. A certain Sam Kerr is there and waiting to take the role of lead goal scorer for The Matildas, as she currently has 42 goals since she first played for the team back in 2009.
Hosting the 2023 World Cup
While this isn’t specifically concerning the success of The Matildas, it’s quite a milestone in the development of female soccer in Australia. As we’ve mentioned a few times, Australia wasn’t always taken seriously as a soccer-playing nation, and it certainly wasn’t a location that people would have imagined being host to such a major event. However, Australia is due to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup alongside New Zealand, and we feel this will give an even greater boost to the interest in soccer within Australia.
Given that Australia is one of the hosts for the event, they have already qualified by default, and that’s quite exciting for soccer fans. And with their current ranking of 9th in the world, they really could do some damage at this tournament.
As far as international soccer is concerned, The Matildas are flying the flag for national pride. Since they are inside the world’s top 10 teams, they are clearly a team that needs to be taken seriously, and the men are playing catch up in a big way! We are certainly excited to see how this team continues to grow and develop over the next few years, and we are sure you are too.
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