Brock and Luik chat career highlights, hilarious stories and their unbreakable bond
When Laura Brock and Aivi Luik announced their retirements post-Tokyo, you could hear the hearts of Matildas teammates and Tillies fans breaking all over the country.
We caught up with the duo to chat about their greatest career highlights, some hilarious stories along with an insight into the special bond these best friends share.
"You know that feeling when you meet someone for the first time, but it feels like you've known them your whole life? That's what it felt like with Aivi. We just clicked right away," Brock said of the instant connection between the two.
"You only get those people every once in a while in life, and Loz was definitely that," Luik concurred.
The pair share a lot of similarities. Along with their obvious football connection, both are avid surfers and travellers who grew up not far from each other in Queensland.
Their friendship knowing no bounds, Luik flew from Europe to Australia to attend Brock's wedding to her now husband, Cam, in 2019.
"There aren't many people I've heard of who would literally fly from Europe to Australia for two days, on no sleep, then fly all the way back to Europe just to go to a friend's wedding, but that's Aivi in a nutshell," Brock explained.
"She's crazy, she's up for adventure and would literally travel the world for her friends."
Announcing their retirements within days of each other, funnily enough, Brock initially had no idea that Luik was retiring.
"It's a funny story, actually, because obviously, I'd made it abundantly clear that I was retiring after the World Cup in 2019, but then with my injury, I was like, oh, I'll just push on for one more year and try to make the Olympics and finish on that," Brock explained.
"Then the Olympics got cancelled and I was like... Sweet, Cam, do you mind if we do one more year?" she laughed."I had to finish this 10-year career on a positive note.
"I knew that I was retiring, I was very open about it because that's just me, I can't keep any secrets about myself. I'll just tell you straight off the bat exactly what's going on.
"People probably don't tell the world that they're trying to have a baby, usually they'd keep that really under wraps, whereas I'm like, I'm going to try and have a baby, but Aivi is the opposite.
READ: CommBank Matildas veteran Aivi Luik announces her retirement
MORE: CommBank Matildas defender Laura Brock announces her retirement
"I was never really going to announce it," Luik said of her own retirement.
"It's a funny story, it was the day before our last game at the Olympics and Loz was chatting to everyone talking about it being her last session and then Tony [Gustavsson] overheard and made a little announcement that this was going to be her last session, so we wanted to make it special.
"I happened to be standing next to Loz and we both looked at each other for what was probably an awkwardly long time until I said, me too.
"Everyone got a bit emotional and initially I didn't want to tell anyone because it was the day before our last game, which was a really important game, we wanted to get that bronze medal," she continued.
"Looking back now, I'm really glad I did make an announcement, it's not usually my style but I heard from all sorts of people and got so many amazing messages so it was really cool to feel that love."
When asked what qualities Brock brings to the Matildas' team that will be missed the most, Luik says it's her infectious positivity and genuine love for her teammates.
"If you're not in the team, it's hard to see from the outside, but ask any player and they'll tell you straight away that she's the one that keeps that positive vibe on and off the field," Luik explained.
"On the field, she's always communicating and she's so supportive of every player, no matter what, whether you make a mistake or not. She's there to lift you up and give you advice.
"Even when she's on the bench, she's there losing her voice, she's that 12th man. I've been on the field when she's been on the bench and it makes such a huge difference.
"There are times when maybe your teammates are out of breath and they can't do the talking for you, but she's there as that 12th player on the bench doing it for them," she continued.
"Off the field, everyone loves her and it's not just for the fact that she's like a ball of sun, I think it's because she genuinely cares about every person, staff or player.
"She's a person that you can go to, to talk about anything, she's not going to judge you, she's going to be there for you and she'll make you feel okay, regardless of what's going on. Having that in the team is so important and I think is going to be a huge loss now she's gone."
Brock returned the adoration, talking about Aivi's ability to take players under her wing.
"I don't think Aivi ever made the conscious decision to be the one who takes players under her wing, it just kind of ended up that way, because that's who she is," Brock explained.
"It's not like she thinks, oh, there's a new person, I'm going to go out of my way and welcome them, she's just naturally so welcoming to everyone and people gravitate towards that.
"It's huge for someone like me, who as a player, kind of struggled in the early years with feeling accepted and she wasn't exactly the one who 'put me under her wing', because I wouldn't fit," the 1.78 cm-tall defender laughed.
"But it's invaluable, like, Mary [Fowler] I know, has felt that and all of us at some stage, have felt that acceptance, care and love that Aivi naturally brings."
When asked what messages they would leave for their former teammates, they both agreed it was about continuing to work hard and take care of each other and the results would follow.
"Girls, keep believing in yourselves, we have such a good team and there's more to come," Luik said.
"We all know it, the public knows it, other teams know it and I think they're quite scared of what we can produce in the future, so just keep believing it's coming, keep fighting hard, working hard and don't let up.
"Keep taking care of each other as well, because when you know someone cares about you off the field, you're able to work that much harder on the field for them."
"I don't think I could have said it any better," Brock said.
After over a decade of international football experience, sneaking Nutella jars into their rooms during major tournaments and flying across the world for a wedding, Laura Brock and Aivi Luik may have called time on their international careers, but they've built a friendship and legacy that's everlasting.