Winger Matthew Leckie has been one of the standout Socceroos at the World Cup and admits his own stellar performances have even surprised himself.
The price tag on his head is now said to have soared in the wake of rave reviews for his displays against Chile and the Netherlands, with one valuation making him the $10 million man.
Today Leckie, 23, admitted he has been “a little bit” surprised how well he has done.
“Coming into the World Cup I sort of knew that if I really worked hard and trained well I’d definitely get that opportunity to start,” he said.
“Ange gave me the go and I did. But I think the way I’ve played, I’ve had a lot of confidence going in to this World Cup after having a great season with my club and Ange having confidence in me as well.
“After that first 15 minutes in the Chile game we all settled in pretty well and I think the whole team as individuals have all surprised ourselves as well.”
Leckie admitted he didn’t think the Socceroos would be able to compete as well as they have against their highly fancied opponents.
“There’s been times, especially the Holland game, we dominated that game,” he said. “To lose that game was very harsh.”
The FC Ingolstadt forward said the Socceroos will have a different tactic going into the match against Spain in Curitiba.
“We know they like to play a lot of short passes throughout the middle,” Leckie said.
“We’ve just got to be very concentrated throughout the whole game, compact, and I’m sure like all the games we’ve played so far there’ll be opportunities and they’ll have theirs. We’ll just have to try and manage their opportunities the best way we can. And the chances we get we’ll just have to put them away.
“For us to get a win against Spain, the World Cup winners four years, that would be a massive achievement for the country.
“The way we’ve played [at the World Cup] – no-one expected. They expected us to come here and just put 10 men behind the ball and hope to pinch results.
"Although we haven’t got the results, the way we’ve gone about it and the way we’ve played, is something very exciting for the country and if we can muster that and we start getting results, there’s definitely good things ahead for Australia.”