As the Matildas’ awe-inspiring display at the 2023 World Cup continues to reverberate in the hearts of devoted fans, preparations are now underway to establish a lasting tribute that honours their remarkable achievements.
The Matildas’ World Cup campaign drew to a close on Saturday, August 19 with an unfortunate 2-0 loss to Sweden at Suncorp Stadium. While it was a disappointing finish, the Matildas made history by securing fourth place which is the best an Australian team has ever achieved at a FIFA World Cup.
The team’s incredible achievements certainly haven’t been lost on the state of Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk who announced that her state will honour the team’s efforts with a statue outside Suncorp Stadium
Palaszczuk made the announcement on Sunday, August 20 during a special ceremony in which the Matildas were handed the keys to the city.
“As a lasting tribute to the 2023 Matildas, we will build a statue at Suncorp Stadium,” she said.
“There are plenty there, celebrating our male sporting champions, it’s time we celebrated women as well.
“You deserve your place amongst the greatest.”
The Matildas will join the likes of rugby league legends Wally Lewis and Allan Langer, and former Wallabies captain John Eales who have already been immortalised with bronze statues outside the stadium.
While there were those who saw merit in recognising the Matildas’ efforts with a statue, the move received a mixed response with many questioning whether the move was warranted.
Their performance was high quality, the #Matildas deserve the accolades
— blakandblack (@blakandblack) August 22, 2023
Come on Anna. We can find somewhere better to spend that money…
— bushbee_ (@bushbee2) August 22, 2023
I’m on the fence with this. Whilst I don’t agree that the (semi-finalist) Matildas get a statue whilst other winning teams (Opals) don’t, there definitely should be recognition for the enormous boost that the current Matildas have injected towards the future of women’s football.
— Ged McMahon (@gedmcmahonphoto) August 21, 2023
It was a great effort but a statue for coming 4th? Come on get real
— ZombieSlayer666???????? ???????? (@scotland746) August 22, 2023
Regardless of how the public feels about the idea of a statue to honour the Matildas, there is no arguing with the fact that Australia delivered a stellar campaign during this year’s World Cup.
The Matildas began their World Cup campaign with a 1-0 victory over a resilient Ireland team, replacement captain Steph Catley securing the winning goal in the second half of the match.
Although the Australian side was dealt a devastating blow to their finals hopes after suffering a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Nigeria on Thursday, July 28, the Matildas rallied in their next match to dominate Olympic champions Canada with a 4-0 triumph in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on Monday, July 31st.
The remarkable victory not only propelled them to Round 16 but also etched their name in history as they secured the top spot in their group for the first time in the World Cup.
In an incredible moment for fans across Australia, the Matildas emerged victorious against Denmark, securing their spot in the World Cup quarter-finals in front of a 75,784-strong crowd at Accor Stadium on Monday, August 7.
Australia secured the 2-0 win over Denmark with the home side securing an early lead after Caitlin Foord scored in the 29th minute and Hayley Raso finisher in the 69th minute.
Australia then achieved history when they triumphed over France following a thrilling 7-6 penalty shootout on Saturday, August 12, securing their spot in the semi-finals.
The Matildas were dealt a devastating blow to their World Cup dreams after suffering a crushing defeat in the semi-finals to England. In front of a passionate crowd of over 75,000, the Matildas suffered a 3-1 defeat against England’s Lionesses on Wednesday, August 16th, at Sydney Olympic Park.
Concluding their World Cup journey on Saturday, August 19, with a regrettable 2-0 defeat against Sweden at Suncorp Stadium, the Matildas nonetheless etched their names in history by clinching fourth place – the highest ever attained by an Australian team in a FIFA World Cup.