Tim Cahill says a chance to join world football’s elite and score at a fourth FIFA World Cup™ would be “priceless” as the Socceroos get closer to their blockbuster opening match against France on Saturday night (AEST).
The veteran Socceroos striker has scored five goals in his three previous FIFA World Cup™ appearances and if he scores in Russia will join the likes of Pele, Miroslav Klose and Uwe Seeler as the only players to score at four FIFA World Cups™.
“I’ve put so much effort in the last year or so to be here so to get on the pitch is going to be one step to score would just be amazing,” Cahill told reporters at his press conference on Thursday.
“I think as a kid you dream of scoring at one World Cup but to join the list of names that are on there now would be priceless.
“You don’t know unless you try so for me if I get on that pitch I know that I’m going to make sure that I’m going to try and make something happen,” the 38-year-old added.
“And I’ll be so excited and so happy just to step on the pitch, but after that I’m in a different world.
“I’d love to join the greats being an Australian being someone that has broken all barriers as a young professional to do something special for my country.”
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And Cahill would love to add to his impressive resume in the Green and Gold by heling Australia pull off a FIFA World Cup™ against the highly-fancied French.
Youngster Andrew Nabbout is expected to lead the line against Didier Deschamps’ men, while Jamie Maclaren, Tomi Juric and Cahill are the other attacking options for coach Bert van Marwijk.
While the Socceroos’ greatest-ever scorer is likely to start on the bench against France – which kicks off at 8pm AEST on Saturday live on SBS and Optus Sport – Cahill has vowed to make an impact when called upon by the Dutch coach.
“I am not here to make up the numbers,” Cahill declared.
“It is up to the boss, he is the one who lives and dies by the results if I get five minutes, or 95 minutes I enjoy playing football.
“There is no pressure on me, when it comes time all four [strikers] will be ready and all four have an equal chance of changing the game and that’s the most important thing.
Cahill added on the striking options in Australia’s squad: “Macca is a finisher, gets in behind. Tomi Juric is always been that big striker but one that I feel can make a massive impact at this World Cup because I’ve worked with him for so long.
“This stage, I feel that he’s ready for it. Nabbout’s raw, he’s quick so it’s going to be a big challenge.”
Cahill knows what it takes to prepare for big games and big tournaments and believes the Socceroos have done all they can to be ready for the “big dance”.
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For that he gives credit to van Marwijk, who has left no stone unturned in ensuring the players have everything they need to know to be able to topple France.
"He's an international coach with a massive calibre and, for us, it's an absolute pleasure to have someone like him come to our country and help teach us a new style," Cahill said of van Marwijk.
"He has all the tools and elements from the past and he's experienced. He has been there and lived it and breathed it and he has beat the best.
"When he walks into the room, he has a presence, but he also has a softness about him that players can relate to."