Hayley Raso has emerged an undeniable hero of the Matildas’ FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign, having scored three goals to help them through to the quarter-finals.
As the world has watched on, nobody has been beaming with more pride than her close family.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Hayley Raso’s brother spills beans on star’s World Cup journey.
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“It was pretty special seeing her get the first World Cup goal and then see her get another and the other night get the third one,” Raso’s brother, Lachlan, told Sunrise on Wednesday morning.
“It’s been pretty amazing getting to watch her do that.”
Raso debuted for the Matildas in 2012 and has gone on to become one of the senior players in the squad, but five years ago it looked like she may never run out in the green and gold again.
Hayley Raso broke her back in 2018. Credit: Sunrise
“It’s pretty amazing (to think) in 2018 she broke her back and then a year later, in 2019, she was at the World Cup in France representing Australia, “ Lachlan said.
The midfielder fractured three vertebrae in her back following an on-field collision while playing for Portland in the US.
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After undergoing rehabilitation, Raso was back playing for the Matildas just six months later.
Since then, Raso has gone on to play in two World Cups and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and she has spent the past two seasons in England with Manchester City.
“Nothing can really slow her down,” Lachlan said.
“She’s just so motivated, so committed – she’s just wanting to come back and fight from anything, to come back and play for her country,” he said.
Lachlan Raso has been in awe of her sister who is taking the world by storm. Credit: Sunrise
Aside from her grit and talent, another constant in Raso’s football life is her famous hair ribbons.
Explaining where the tradition started, her brother said it’s been her trademark since they were kids.
“Back when she was a junior, grandma used to buy her a ribbon to match her club kits every time,” he said.
“And so as she’s become more professional and every time she signs for a new team, grandma will go out to the shop and buy her a new ribbon to match the team’s outfit and send it over to her.”
He said when Hayley was a junior, there were telltale signs that she would become the ferocious competitor that she now is.
Hayley Raso’s grandma is the inspiration behind the ribbons. Credit: CameraSport via Getty Images
“There wasn’t too much of it between us,” he said.
“I think I knew if I got into many battles with her, I was going to lose.
“So I’ve just been really proud. I’m just cheering her on and very supportive of everything she is doing.”
Speaking on the return of superstar captain Sam Kerr – the woman who was subbed on for Hayley in the Matildas’ last game – Lachlan said he didn’t envy coach Tony Gustavsson.
“It’s a pretty tough decision. I’m glad I’m not the coach to be honest – it’s a good problem, having Sam Kerr coming back onto the team when they’ve already been doing so well,” he said.
“I definitely think we can (beat France). Last time we played them we beat them.
“(But) There’s no easy games at this stage in this tournament, so it’s going to be pretty difficult. I’m pretty happy to just take a one-goal win … a win is a win.”
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