Not that he is desperate to leave Club Brugge, where he signed a new four-year deal last November and retained the Belgium Pro League goalkeeper of the year title last month.

Also awarded the Harry Kewell medal for Australia's outstanding under-23 player of 2014, Ryan would probably be attracting the attention of the best clubs in Europe even if he was not playing so well at the Asian Cup.

With little to do in Australia's victories against Kuwait and Oman, Ryan showed the concentration required of the best goalkeepers by pulling a couple of saves out of the top drawer when play finally came his way.

There was disappointment in Australia's third match when the hosts lost 1-0 to South Korea but the Socceroos qualified comfortably enough for the knockout stages and face China in the quarter-finals in Brisbane on Thursday.

"The tournament for me personally has been great," Ryan said.

"Just seeing all the fans and the hype around it. I just can't wait for kickoff on Thursday.

"Hopefully another sold out stadium and another crack at difficult opponents and hopefully one that we can overcome."
           
NEXT STEP

Typically, Ryan was convinced he would have saved South Korea's goal had Lee Jeong-hyeop not slipped between a couple of defenders to get a touch on Lee Keun-ho's shot and send it past him into the net.

The other goal Australia conceded, in their 4-1 win over Kuwait in their opening match, was also due to a lack of concentration in defence and there was little Ryan could do about Ali Hussain Fadhel's diving header.

Ryan made a spectacular fingertip save to deny Kuwait's Fahed Al Ebrahim later in that match and his athletic save from Raed Saleh in the third minute of the 4-0 win over Oman was equally impressive.

"He's brilliant," said Oman skipper Ali Al Habsi, a fellow goalkeeper who played in the English Premier League with Wigan.

"He has been fantastic in the World Cup and here in the Asian Cup. In the first game and against us he did brilliantly. He's young, he can only improve."

At 22, Ryan is still a half dozen years short of the age where popular wisdom has it goalkeepers come into their prime.

Al Habsi, responding to questions about reports of interest from Liverpool, said Ryan had all the qualities required to follow compatriots Mark Schwarzer and Mark Bosnich in building a career in the English top flight.

The former Central Coast Mariners keeper has other priorities at the moment but sounded like he might be open to making the move across the North Sea if the right opportunity with the right club arose.

"While I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, it'd be nice to hold that trophy up at the end of all this," he told the Sydney Morning Herald this week.

"I'm loving my football, it's been a great time. Of course it's exciting to read Liverpool rate you.

"I'm happy at Club Brugge but I obviously want to challenge myself because it'd be great to take that next step."

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