Club future back of mind for Olympics-focused Raso

Free agent Hayley Raso will focus solely on claiming an elusive Olympic medal with the Matildas before tackling life after Real Madrid.

Raso, 29, is expected to be in-demand following her June departure from the Spanish club after just one season.

The winger wouldn't confirm whether she had joined a new club, or if she was using the Paris games as a shop window.

"I suppose all of that will come to light in due course," Raso said on Thursday.

"At the moment all my focus is just on the Olympics.

"We've got this period now preparing for that and I'll put all my focus into that and doing what I can with the Matildas and I'll sort the rest out after that."

Hayley Raso.
Hayley Raso at the Matildas' announcement ceremony for the Paris Olympics.

Raso scored four goals in 39 appearances and often received limited game minutes in Madrid, but enjoyed her time in the Spanish capital.

"Going into a new environment, to a new culture and not speaking the language, I was a little bit nervous, but I feel like I fitted in really well there," she said.

"Playing that style of football, the Spanish obviously won the World Cup, so the standard's so high every day in training, playing in the Champions League. All of those things were things that I wanted to do.

"So I leave there very happy and content, knowing that I did all that I could, had a good season and that I'm in good form coming into here."

Raso has proven a reliable source of goals in Sam Kerr's absence, shining at last year's Women's World Cup and in qualifiers for Paris.

Hayley Raso.
Hayley Raso (R) celebrates after scoring against Uzbekistan in Melbourne.

Heading into her second games - but her first in front of friends and family after playing without crowds in Tokyo - Raso was ready to step up.

"Scoring goals is obviously a great thing. As a striker, it's something I want to do," she said.

"Playing for the national team, I've been able to do that a lot recently and I think it's really important in these moments, in these pressure games, in these high-intensity games that I'm able to do that.

"Having players out, other players have to step up and I think a few of us have done that but I hope to be able to continue that form and get my first Olympics goal."

Raso considered Sunday's friendly against Canada in Marbella the perfect warm-up for a brutal group stage against Germany, Zambia and the USA, while last year's World Cup has Australia ready for "pressure moments".

"We kind of know where we're at with that, we know we can play under immense pressure coming into the Olympics," she said.

"Now it's tough. All the opponents are tough. You're always going to be playing a hard game.

"But for us, we know that there's a medal on the line and that's something we're looking to achieve. So every game will be tough, but we're up and we're ready for it."

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