Kazan: Tim Cahill could not make it clearer. To score in a fourth World Cup and join the small but select band of the game’s immortals to have done so would, says the Socceroo talisman, be ‘‘priceless’’.
‘‘It means so much. I have put so much effort to be here. To get on the pitch would be one step, to score would just be amazing. To join the list of names that are on there now would be priceless,’’ he told a press conference at the Socceroo’s training headquarters in Kazan.
Only Brazilian legend Pele and German greats Miroslav Klose and Uew Seeler have played in four World Cups and been on target, so Cahill would be breathing rarified air if he could match that feat.
He is not expected to start on Saturday night (AEST) against France, but vowed that he would be ready to play his part if given any chance to have an impact on the game.
‘‘You have to take your moments. If I get on the pitch I know I am going to try to make sure to make something happen.
‘‘I would love to join the greats, being an Australian, being someone who has broken all barriers …’’
Cahill says he is not looking past Australia’s opener in Kazan. Asked whether he would retire from international football, or from the game itself after the tournament, he was adamant that nothing except the game against France mattered at this point in his World Cup preparations.
‘‘It's not a dress rehearsal, the big dance is here. This is where you have to step up. The fact is we train today, we train the day after, and we play France. That’s all that’s in my mind.’’
Cahill said he had no regrets about walking out from A-League club Melbourne City midway through the season to return to his first English club, Millwall.
He did so to get more game time than he was getting at City, but the move backfired as he spent most of the last five months in Britain on the bench.
Still, he says, it was a gamble worth taking – and was in one way the perfect preparation. ‘‘I have always made calculated decisions for myself and my family. I am not fazed by outside noise.’’
Cahill knows that younger players like Andrew Nabbout, Jamie Maclaren and Tomi Juric are the future, but he says training under a professional like Bert van Marwijk could still teach him things.
‘‘I have enjoyed the training, because at 38 you think you can’t learn … but I am thankful still at 38 I can say I am learning something and becoming a better player.’’
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