The Primera Iberdrola club Sevilla FC announced during the Wednesday that they have signed Australian international midfielder, the “Matildas” Aivi Luik from Australian W-League champions Melbourne City. The deal is over next season until 2021.
The 35-year-old has a long career behind her from many of the best leagues in the world. Back home in Australia, besides Melbourne City she has played also with Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory. Outside her home country she has had spells in Vålerenga and Avaldsnes in Norway, Notts County in England, Fylkir on Iceland, Brøndby in Denmark, IFK Kalmar in Sweden and WFC Neftokhimik in Ukraine. In the US she has played with FC Indiana and when she now heads to Spain it’s gonna be for the second time since she was part of Levante UD the 2018-2019 season.
With Matildas she has played relevant competitions such as the 2018 Asian Cup and the World Cup held in France last summer.
The records for Luik are strong as she has won Australian W-League five times, winning AFC Asian Cup in 2010 and was the Runner-Up in 2018. She has won the Danish Championship as well as the Danish Cup, among other titles.
Aivi Luik stands out for being the first Australian player to wear the red and white Sevilla jersey, however she is among many Australian and Matildas players who have recently left home soil to play for European clubs, which is a bit worrying trend for the domestic league in the country. The Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) ran a survey which showed that players are more likely to choose playing in Europe over the W-League. As Australia prepares to co-host the 2023 World Cup together with New Zealand, the W-League is at risk of falling behind the world’s top women’s football leagues. And with the upcoming W-League season being pushed to a December – July format instead of a regular October – January season, the league also risk loosing top players whom for years have been able to play double seasons, both in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and in the W-League.
Australians in top European leagues:
Women’s Super League – England: Sam Kerr (Chelsea), Steph Catley (Arsenal), Caitlin Foord (Arsenal), Lydia Williams (Arsenal), Hayley Raso (Everton), Chloe Logarzo (Bristol City), Ella Mastrantonio (Bristol City), Mackenzie Arnold (West Ham), Jacynta Galabadaarachchi (West Ham)
D1 Arkema – France: Ellie Carpenter (Olympique Lyonnais), Mary Fowler (Montpellier), Emma Checker (FC Fleury 91), Laura Brock (EA Guingamp)
Primera Iberdrola – Spain: Alex Chidiac (Atlético Madrid), Jenna McCormick (Real Betis), Aivi Luik (Sevilla)
Serie A Femmenile – Italy: Isobel Dalton (Napoli)
Toppserien – Norway: Karly Roestbakken (LSK Kvinner), Clare Polkinghorne (Avaldsnes IL), Katrina Gorry (Avaldsnes IL), Tameka Yallop (Klepp IL), Teagan Micah (Arna Bjornar), Nikola Orgill (Kolbotn)
Damallsvenskan – Sweden: Elise Kellond-Knight (Kristianstads DFF), Emily Gielnik (Vittsjö GIK)
Eredivisie Vrouwen – Netherlands: Kyah Simon, Amy Harrison (both PSV Eindhoven)