Perhaps it was fitting that Tim Cahill’s swan song as a Socceroo came to a conclusion with a final appearance from the bench in a friendly with Lebanon in Sydney.
Cahills leaves as the Socceroos’ all-time leading goal scorer and made four appearance in FIFA World Cup tournaments, including that time in the distant past when Australia made it past the Group stage.
Other former wearers of the Green and Gold were available to pay tribute to Cahill, including striker Josh Kosmina, Mark Bosnich and Robbie Slater.
The accolades were fast, furious and plentiful and Cahill certainly deserves a proper sendoff after his years of toil to lift the Socceroos out of mediocrity.
Kosmina was first to point out Cahill’s winning goal over Japan in Germany, telling reporters, “I think the first goal in Kaiserslautern against Japan – I was in the crowd and it was just an unbelievable feeling,” Kosmina said.
Kosmina also mentioned Cahill’s longevity.
“We were doing the numbers before, he’s played about 700 games including the national team and scored a ridiculous amount of goals,” he said.
Bosnich’s favourite Cahill memory was from the 2015 Asian Cup victory.
“But the big major trophy, the one for me that he really stood up was the Asian Cup in 2015.None so more than with that wonderful overhead kick against China in the quarter finals.”
Slater considers Cahill an inspiration.
“I’ll tell you what he is to kids who play the game, for any aspiring player – he is just the example of what self-belief can do as well,” Slater said. “He is a self-believer and a character, of mental strength that is unbelievable.If you analyse him, he’s not the fastest player, he’s not the most technically gifted, he doesn’t have a real passing game as in short and long. He’s good at all those.”
That last bit seems to stray into the damning with faint praise category, but it is true that Cahill made the most of what he had, unlike those who have had it all and could make nothing other than a hot mess with it.