Caltex Socceroos gloveman Maty Ryan could endear himself to Liverpool fans right around the world this weekend by denying Manchester City’s charge towards the English Premier League title.
Ryan’s Brighton & Hove Albion host City on what is certain to be a climactic final day of the Premier League season on Monday morning (12am AEST).
Pep Guardiola’s side will retain the EPL crown they won last season if they can take all three points against the 17th-placed Seagulls at the AMEX Stadium.
But if Ryan and his teammates can deny City victory, it will open the door for Liverpool to snatch a first-ever title in the Premier League era if they beat Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield.
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With the eyes of the sporting planet set to be on both of those matches this weekend, the 27-year-old Aussie is set to be a central figure in the destination of the title.
It’s a scenario not lost on Ryan, who is relishing the opportunity to have an influence on the biggest prize in English football.
“The most surreal thing is having friends and family who are Liverpool supporters and having the opportunity to have such a big influence on history," Ryan said in an article in The Mirror newspaper.
“I can’t help but think back to Man City a few years ago when they played QPR [who finished fourth-bottom in the 2011/12 season] and they almost caused the biggest upset."
In that season's climax, City scored twice in stoppage-time to be crowned champions for the first time in 44 years as they beat 10-man QPR 3-2 to win the Premier League on goal difference from neighbours Manchester United.
“I keep imagining and hoping in that situation, if it comes up again, to make that big last-ditch save to affect the result. If you can do that, in similar circumstances, that would be a memory I would cherish for the rest of my life.”
While their EPL safety was secured last weekend, Brighton will not lack motivation against City, who were the side that beat them in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley last month.
And Ryan will also be looking to produce something special for his Liverpool-supporting mates who have been hounding him to do their club the ultimate favour.
“A couple of mates I grew up with have been messaging me. The more I think about it, the more I’m remembering the messages I’ve got! That’s probably the most surreal thing about it.
“Now I’m playing at this level it feels natural, the more experience you get. But the fact there is so much at stake and a title on the line, it just feels so big. I remember the hype around that City and QPR game those years ago and how the whole world was invested in it.
“It’s nice to be part of that. If we can disturb the party, it would be nice.”