Brisbane Is Getting a Statue to Commemorate the Matildas' Historic 2023 Women's World Cup Efforts
The tribute will be built outside Suncorp Stadium, where the team played three Women's World Cup games — including that epic quarter-final against France.
August 20, 2023
Thanks to the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, everyone in Australia will forever remember where they were at two specific moments: when the Matildas beat France in a stunning penalty shootout, and when Sam Kerr kicked the goal of a lifetime in the semi-final loss to England. The Sunshine State doesn't just want the team's feats at football's ultimate competition to live on in our hearts and minds, however, or via footage of the games. Rather, Brisbane will commemorate the Australian national women's soccer team's achievements physically, with the Queensland Government announcing that it will build a Matildas statue.
That epic match against France was played at the River City's Suncorp Stadium, as was the Matildas' 3–2 loss to Nigeria in the group stage and 2–0 third-place playoff defeat by Sweden. Accordingly, that'll be the site of the new monument to Sam Kerr, Ellie Carpenter, Mackenzie Arnold, Hayley Raso, Steph Catley, Katrina Gorry, Mary Fowler, Caitlin Foord and their teammates, as a permanent reminder of their history-making World Cup campaign.
No Australian soccer team has made it as far into the coveted contest as the Matildas did in 2023 — not the Matildas themselves in the past, and not the Socceroos, either. Indeed, it's no wonder that their games kept smashing ratings records, with the England match now the country's most-watched TV program since 2001, and also likely ever.
Exactly what the statue will look like will be left to Football Australia to decide, with the Queensland Government advising that it'll work with the sporting body "on the design and recognition of the team to ensure the statue depicts the success of the Matildas now and into the future".
And as for when it'll be unveiled, that hasn't been revealed. But when it does grace the Milton stadium, it'll add both female and football representation to a site that currently features statues of rugby league stars Wally Lewis, Arthur Beetson, Darren Lockyer, Mal Meninga and Allan Langer, plus rugby union's John Eales.
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"The Matildas have created history. Not only has their performance set new benchmarks for sport, they have captured our hearts and inspired a nation," said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, announcing the statue.
"As a FIFA Legacy Ambassador I am so proud of our Matildas. They are role models who will inspire thousands of girls to pick up a football and play the game. It's only fitting that we recognise all they have achieved with a permanent tribute."
Until the statue becomes a reality, you can spend more time celebrating the Matildas via documentary Matildas: The World at Our Feet.
Brisbane's new statue at Suncorp Stadium celebrating the Matildas' 2023 Women's World Cup efforts doesn't yet have an installation and unveiling date — we'll update you when further details are announced.
Top image: LittleBlinky via Wikimedia Commons.
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