• Australia full-back Rhyan Grant survived terrible crash in 2018
  • Since then his career has taken off
  • The Socceroos return to service after their longest hiatus in 60 years

“Under the water, everything was calm and peaceful. I was ready to let go. I said to myself: ‘Here it is, it’s over’.” In an interview with PlayersVoice, Sydney FC full-back Rhyan Grant reflects on the circumstances in which he was close to death in a surfing accident. Stuck underwater, his leg caught in a rope hanging from a pipe, he miraculously got out of this situation when the rope came loose on its own.

Since that trying day, Grant has established himself as a starter on the right side of Australia’s defense. He made the AFC Asian Cup and even offered his club a title by scoring a memorable goal. Now he is aiming for qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar ™. “This mishap changed my way of approaching football,” Grant continues at the microphone of FIFA.com. “Sometimes you tend to take things for granted. After that accident, I took another look. Football has become even more special to me.”

Grant is today a hero by Sydney FC supporters for his hairstyle, his frankness to the microphones, his calls in the right lane where he runs 12 kilometers per game, and his charitable work.

© Getty Images

The man of special occasions

Grant grew up in a small village of two thousand people, far from the strongholds of Australian football, where posters and articles commemorating Harry Kewell adorned the walls of his bedroom. “I loved the 2006 World Cup team. These players really brought Australia credit and gave all their opponents a hard time,” he recalls. “They made a lot of people dream at the time. We all got up in the middle of the night to watch the matches and if my mother and my sister were there, it was important!”

Feeling too isolated in the heart of New South Wales, Grant moved to Sydney at age 15. But his father Daryl never misses a Sydney FC home game, even if it means traveling for six hours by car. “I tell him over and over that he doesn’t have to, but he likes it deep down. He’s still there and you can say he’s my biggest fan. If I’m selected, I’m sure he will. will make the trip to Qatar. “

As a reward, Daryl saw his son score a crucial goal in the season’s Grand Final, giving his team the title. Even if he is not a great goalscorer – he scores about once a season – Grant is often present on big occasions. He thus found the net twice in a Grand Final, and also scored in a winning shootout.

A source of motivation

He has not yet had the opportunity to score in the national team, but he is now well established there. Grant trained under current coach Graham Arnold. His former mentor at Sydney FC has since called him up for the AFC Asian Cup and has fielded him five times in the finals.

This week, Grant and Australia travel to Kuwait for four qualifying matches in the space of 12 days. This intense streak begins on June 3 against Kuwait. Current leaders of Group B, the Socceroos will then face Chinese Taipei, Nepal and Jordan. This busy period also marks the national team’s first outing in nearly 550 days, its longest period of inactivity since the early 1960s.

“There is no greater honor than representing your country, I take that very seriously,” said Grant, who hopes to stay in the squad as long as possible. “The next few months will be rich in events. If we qualify, which I have no doubts for a moment, I would naturally like to participate in the World Cup. It is a big source of motivation and I will give the maximum, in hoping that I will be called upon when the time comes, ”he concludes.


Rhyan Grant of Australia during an international against Lebanon in Sydney, November 2018
© Getty Images

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