The heartwarming story behind Matildas star Hayley Raso’s hair ribbon

The Matildas star has sported her sentimental accessory for most of her career.
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During the Matildas match against Denmark in 2023, there was one name that Australian football fans could not stop cheering; Hayley Raso.

After scoring the two goals Australia needed to progress to the quarter-final match at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Raso made headlines not only for her stellar goal-scoring skills, but also for her hair. 

As Hayley embarks on her Olympics journey, many fans of the Matildas are curious as to why the star forward regularly tops off her ponytail with a bow.

(Credit: Getty) (Credit: Getty)

Why does Hayley Raso wear a ribbon in her hair?

While Hayley’s signature hair ribbon may have garnered attention during her FIFA Women’s World Cup appearance, the story behind her game day tradition stems back to her days as a junior football star. 

“I’ve worn a ribbon for my whole career. My grandma always matches my ribbon to my kits, so she’s sent my new ones over for this season,” Raso told Manchester City FC.

(Credit: Getty) (Credit: Getty)

Raso’s ponytail accessory has also served as inspiration for her first children’s novel Hayley’s Ribbon. 

“[The book] goes through how I was shy when I was younger but I came out of my shell. The story behind the book is that I get the ribbon from my nan and that empowers me,” she told Manchester City. 

(Credit: Instagram) (Credit: Instagram)

The Matildas forward has also clapped back at spectators who have commented negatively about her hair accessory; hoping that her game-changing goals are what football fans pay the most attention to. 

“For me, it’s just something I do. It’s something I like to wear… It’s just my thing and I enjoy doing it. It’s funny [that] the fans have taken notice,” she told FourFourTwo.

“At the end of the day, I hope people are taking notice of my ability and not what I wear or what I’m doing. I think that’s the main thing. People like me and support me for what I do on the soccer field.”

Raso isn’t the only member of the Matildas squad to sport a signature hair accessory, with defender Ellie Carpenter spotted regularly wearing a unique headband. 

Carpenter’s colourful headbands are technically not headbands at all. As a result of sporting rules, referees do not allow players to wear any protruding headbands or hair clips due to the heightened injury risk. 

Instead, Carpenter crafts her headband from pre-wrap, which is a type of gauze typically used to protect the skin from irritation caused by strapping tape.  

Many other players also utilise this hairband hack, with fellow Matildas Steph Catley and Alanna Kennedy also sporting a thinner version of Carpenter’s signature style. 

(Credit: Getty)

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