Caltex Socceroos fans will get one more chance to see Tim Cahill in the green and gold with Australia’s greatest-ever scorer to play a farewell match against Lebanon in Sydney in November.
The fantastic news was confirmed on Tuesday, with Cahill to come off the bench for Graham Arnold’s side against the Cedars at Sydney Olympic Park.
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It’s sure to be an emotional occasion for the 38-year-old, who has been one of the Caltex Socceroos most important players for over a decade.
“I am truly humbled to have the opportunity to take part in this farewell game,” Cahill said.
“I really appreciate the FFA and Arnie (Graham Arnold) giving me the chance to put on the Socceroos jersey on last time.
“It’s going to be incredibly special to represent my country for the final time and I can’t wait to say thank you to all the fans who have supported me throughout my career.”
Cahill retired from international football after playing at his fourth FIFA World Cup in Russia in June.
The 38-year-old, who will continue his club career in India later this month, has scored 50 goals in 107 appearances for the Caltex Socceroos, the last of which came at the same venue last year against Syria.
While the games in November – against Korea in Brisbane and Lebanon in Sydney – are key preparation matches for next year’s AFC Asian Cup, Arnold said Cahill deserves the chance to bid farewell to Australian fans.
“During my tenure as national team coach I expect to help instil and build a culture of respect for players both on and off the pitch,” the Caltex Socceroos boss said.
“Even though that this is an important game in our preparation for the (AFC) Asian Cup, giving Timmy (Cahill) and the public the opportunity to say goodbye is important to us.
“Tim has made many sacrifices to play for his country and deserves a final bow in front of Australian fans in Australia.”
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FFA CEO David Gallop added: “Tim’s contribution to football and the Socceroos especially over the past 14 years has been immense.
“We feel that there is no better way to honour Tim’s contribution to the game than by giving him the opportunity to hear the roar of the crowd as he plays in his backyard of Sydney one last time.
“At the same time we feel that Australian football fans also deserve the chance to see Tim play for the Socceroos one final time.”
The Caltex Socceroos’ clash with Lebanon is just the second-ever meeting between the two nations and the first in Australia.
The only previous meeting came back in 2012 in Beirut, with Cahill on the scoresheet in a 3-0 win for Australia.
Matt McKay and Archie Thompson scored the other goals.