Maja Markovski speaks to KEEPUP’s Sacha Pisani about her viral Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired celebration for Melbourne Victory in the Liberty A-League, her promising career at an exciting time in the women’s game and continuing Markovski tradition.
A quick search on social media and you’ll understand why Maja Markovski is not only the talk of the Liberty A-League but world football after the weekend.
The Melbourne Victory youngster went viral after her Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired ‘SIUUU’ celebration in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers.
The niece of former Socceroo star John Markovski, Maja capped her first A-League Women start with a moment that went global, having just stepped up to convert a 74th-minute penalty.
Speaking to KEEPUP about mimicking the iconic celebration, the 20-year-old said: “I don’t think many people understood but it’s like a team joke.
“We always do it at training, after shevas, two-touch… so we always joke about it and we always say we gotta pull it out in a game. It just came to me and all the girls got behind it.”
Maja Markovski – a big fan of the Manchester United superstar – has been taken aback by the reaction to her Ronaldo-fuelled moment at CommBank Stadium.
“It’s crazy. I’ve been tagged, edits have been made and sent to me. I’m like ‘oh my god’. I didn’t think it would go that big to be honest but it’s been pretty good,” she said.
But was it pre-planned or spontaneous?
“A little bit. That’s why, I tried to run to our bench… we speak about it with the coaches, they’re in on it,” Markovski responded.
The biggest question is whether there are more big celebrations up Markovksi’s sleeve?
“I’m going to have to have a chat to the girls. Whatever it is, it will be a team celebration,” she joked.
“I don’t know, no spoilers I guess. Just have to wait and see.”
Markovski is making her mark on Victory and the Liberty A-League as she continues a proud family tradition.
Maja’s father Tom played in the NSL and Victorian state leagues, while her uncle John is a 19-time Australia international, who burst onto the scene as a 15-year-old in the NSL.
“At the time when I was younger, I didn’t really realise the level they were playing and how big it was,” she said. “I kind of joined the game later to my brothers and cousins. But as I grew up, people used to recognise my last name and stuff, I kind of got that connection. It’s definitely good having them in my corner.”
Maja Markovski, whose favourite player is Manchester City and Belgium star Kevin De Bruyne, continued: “When I was younger and started to take my football seriously, I kind of said to my dad ‘can you help me?’.
“We always used to go to the training pitch and we still do now. He helps me out for the season. He is a defender and I’m a striker, so it’s good. I’ve had heaps of sessions with my uncle, lots of shooting sessions.”
Markovski, who played in a boy’s side at local club Spring Hills FC until Under-12s in the west of Melbourne, joined Victory in December 2020.
She was named the 2019 NPL Victoria Women’s Rising Star, having impressed for Box Hill United and the towering attacker continues to go from strength to strength.
“I think [my career] it’s progressing well. Obviously started my first game on the weekend. It was really good for me because I’ve been working really hard to get that start,” Markovski said, with Victory third in the standings this season.
“Just going to keep building throughout the season and with the team and the girls. Hopefully we can make finals again and go all the way.”
It is an exciting time in women’s football as the 2023 World Cup on home soil looms large.
“It’s starting to get really big and leading into a World Cup, it’s great to be part of it all,” she said. I’m just excited to see where it goes and how big it can get.”
A future Matilda in the making, what is the ultimate goal for Markovski?
“Make a real good living out of football. Go play overseas in a few countries. Get some experience over there,” she concluded.