Whenever I wore the Australian jersey, I played with my heart– Tim Cahill
Written by: Neelav Chakravarti
In his 108th appearance Cahill played for nine minutes and received rapturous applause from the supporters alongwith a commemorative ball.
Australia bid adieu to Tim Cahill today – 20th November 2018 – in his farewell match in an international friendly fixture against Lebanon, which the Oceanic country won. Cahill is indeed a living Australian legend and has called time on an international career consisting of 50 goals in 107 games.
In his 108th appearance, Cahill played for nine minutes and received rapturous applause from the supporters. He receieved a commemorative ball for his services to Australian football and was given a chance to speak.
He began his speech by stating, "This is the only time you’re going to see me cry."
He went on to say, "I want to say thank you, firstly to my family. For being there from day one, The sacrifices my family made for me is the reason why every time I step on that pitch I’m fearless, I’m free. Nothing can hurt me on the pitch and everything I do is for my family. Secondly, I want to thank my teammates and all the staff that I’ve worked with. The coaches, the players, without you I’ll be nothing, honestly I’ll be nothing. The coaches that are not here, the players that are not here, thank you very much from the bottom of my heart."
The former Everton player also added, "Now, the most important people as well, is the fans. It was tough for me to play for Australia at the start and I tell you what every time I wore the green and gold, I played with my heart. And I never left anything off the pitch. So, I don’t want to keep you too long, I just want to tell you all that this is just as much for all of you as it is for me. So, thank you very much Australia."
The Socceroos legend made his Australian debut on 30th March 2004 and is the first from his country to score at a FIFA World Cup and also AFC Asian Cup. He also represented the men from his nation in four FIFA World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018). He is also his country's top scorer at the global extravaganza with five goals. Before representing the AFC nation, he had also played for Samoa at youth level, as he had lived there for three years as a child.
Prior to joining Jamshedpur FC in the ISL, he had represented the likes of Everton, New York Red Bulls and Melbourne City. Back at Goodison Park, he is regarded as a cult hero due to his determination and "never say die" attitude, which won him plaudits in England. Over the years, he became his country's sole goalscorer at major tournaments, with some feisty strikes especially against the Dutch in the 2014 World Cup.
Farewell to a true Australian legend!
Published: Tue Nov 20, 2018 08:28 PM IST