Repeated cruciate ligament ruptures could finish many playing careers, but for Lisa Makas, serious injury only made her more determined to get back to her best and pull on the Austria shirt once more.
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Lisa Makas has been an Austria international for more than a decade, amassing more than 70 caps since her debut in 2010. The 30-year-old has had to get used to adversity, suffering four serious injuries, but maintaining the drive to return to fitness and international football. This summer, she and her team-mates are looking to improve on their impressive 2017 UEFA Women's EURO debut, where they were surprise semi-finalists.
As she prepares for Austria's second game of Women's EURO 2022, Makas shares her highs and lows and describes the crucial support of her family in her journey.
Lisa Makas on… the pride of representing her country
It is always very hard to describe in words what it means to me because I’m now in the team. As part of this team, I say, "I love this team!". I would do anything for everyone in this team.
I had four cruciate ligament ruptures and still other surgeries. But I never thought about giving up on myself because the will, passion and love for football were so extremely present that I knew that I wanted to be on the pitch with this team, with Austria.
It’s so exciting to know that I have the opportunity to drive, with this team, to Old Trafford and to be able to experience this moment with the emotions and happiness in general, and the energy that everyone brings to the pitch. I am really excited and full of anticipation.
Lisa Makas on… tackling injury troubles
My way up was hard. I often had injuries or problems, but what I learned from it is that there is nothing that can throw me off course so easily and that I must give everything to achieve my goal to get back to the pitch.
I am ambitious and once I have my goals in mind I do everything to achieve them. I just try to get better and transform my weaknesses into strengths. I work so hard on it until it becomes a reality.
After the surgery and during the rehab I realised that I wasn’t ready to quit. I have to mention that I always had good rehab, and everything always worked out for the best. So, I was always able to make a quick recovery. It did not take long until I was back to my performing level on the pitch. It was always relatively quick.
Lisa Makas on… family support
[When injured,] I had to talk with my family and played all the scenarios out in my head. Since I started, when I was five years old, they brought me everywhere. Nobody ever told me to quit and leave it, quite the opposite. My father always stood behind me and told me, “You’re not quite there.”
The person who gives me the most strength, maybe she doesn’t know it, but it is my mother – she is the one that gives me the most energy. She suffered emotionally with me, but she would never tell me personally to quit. She knew just how much I loved football.
In the end, the encouragement, motivation, but also the love from family and friends were always there, which made it a bit easier, as easy you can make an injury. They made me feel better.