Former Socceroo unloads on Matildas haters

The retired keeper believes the Matildas and new coach Ante Milicic deserve more support

Never one to pull his punches, former Socceroos goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac has slammed Australian critics of the Matildas' Women's World Cup campaign. 

After an opening loss to Italy, Australia bounced back against Brazil with an epic comeback win before dispatching Jamaica 4-1 to seal their place in the Round of 16.

While finishing the group in second and securing a knockout clash against Norway, the Matildas and their coach Ante Milicic have come under heavy criticism in the process. 

Following the side's defeat to Italy, former Matilda Heather Garriock questioned Milicic's approach to the game with Sam Kerr subsequently telling the haters to 'suck on that one' after her side defeated Brazil in the subsequent match. 

Though support for the green and gold has been growing in recent years, Kalac believes too many Australians have been looking for a reason to hate on the Matildas in France.

"My problem is with people here in Australia,” Kalac said on Unibet’s At Odds panel. 

"We want to bag people too quickly and people are trying to climb the ladder and they need to stop and let people who know what they’re doing, do their job.

"He (Milicic) has a great philosophy, the girls have bought into what he is doing and they lost the first game - yes they weren’t great. Were they great the second game? No, they weren’t.

"But they have a philosophy and as the tournament has gone on they have got better and better and the haters and the slaggers...shut up and support!"


Ranked sixth in the world heading into the tournament, Kalac believes the Matildas are capable of claiming the World Cup trophy in France.

"They’re good enough to win it, their style of football is good enough to win it,” he said.

"Yes, they’re going to give away chances but they’re entertaining, they’re good to watch, they’re not boring - they’re much better to watch than what they were before and they’re doing it at the World Cup."

While Kalac clearly isn't happy with the Matildas' critics, Milicic personally hasn't been content with what he's seen from his side to date.

Article continues below

Australia haven't kept a clean sheet in their past five games with the coach adamant they must address those shortcomings before taking on Norway. 

"We have qualified for the next round but we need to be better," Milicic said after the Jamaica game.

"We still get caught in transition far too easily. For us to keep our mission and go further in the tournament we need to get better."