Mat Ryan makes a save for the Socceroos during their International friendly against the Korea Republic at Suncorp Stadium on November 17, 2018. Picture: Darren England/AAP
Mat Ryan makes a save for the Socceroos during their International friendly against the Korea Republic at Suncorp Stadium on November 17, 2018. Picture: Darren England/AAP

Schwarzer nominates Mat Ryan as Socceroos' next captain

FORMER Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer says it would be a natural progression for Mat Ryan to become the next Australia captain.

Ryan is the frontrunner to inherit the armband of the recently retired Mark Milligan, having skippered the Socceroos in Milligan's absence for the past two World Cup qualifiers against Taiwan and Jordan.

The 27-year-old has won 59 caps for Australia and is a key player for Brighton in the English Premier League.

"Mat Ryan has done really well so far," Schwarzer told SEN.

"He's stood in a couple of times to be captain and I think he's got the respect of his teammates. He's playing at the very highest level.

"He's been exceptional in the last couple of seasons.

"It's kind of one of those ones where it's kind of a natural progression. He's the next one in line."

Next up for the Socceroos is a clash against Kuwait in Perth on March 26, before a trip to Nepal five days later.

Socceroos Mat Ryan speaks to media at Sydney airport. Picture by Damian Shaw
Socceroos Mat Ryan speaks to media at Sydney airport. Picture by Damian Shaw

Ryan made his senior international debut in 2012, succeeding his childhood idol Schwarzer and becoming Australia's first-choice goalkeeper.

He played at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups and the 2015 and 2019 Asian Cups, winning the best goalkeeper award at the 2015 tournament.

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