Tim Cahill has shared a catalogue of memories with Caltex Socceroos fans around the world throughout his storied national team career.
And the Australian legend will have the chance to create some more when he takes to the pitch for the last time in the green and gold against Lebanon in November.
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It will be a chance for the Caltex Socceroos all-time leading goal scorer and four-time FIFA World Cup™ veteran to reflect on the adventures that have endeared him so closely to the Australian public.
But for Cahill, there’s one recent fan encounter that still resonates strongly.
“In every single big tournament, you meet the fans and the most recent would’ve had to have been my last game in the [FIFA] World Cup against Peru,” Cahill told www.socceroos.com.au.
“Towards the right-hand side behind the goal, all these guys dressed up and having a big hug with them because it was just a realising moment and it was a special time for me because I knew it was my last world cup game.
“Just seeing all the green and gold and fans dressed up I pretty much made my way to them and a had a cuddle but I’ve had loads throughout my career that have been pretty special with the fans.”
That FIFA World Cup™ defeat to Peru was a bitter way for the 38-year-old’s glittering international career to finish.
But the opportunity to give back to a sea of loyal green and gold fans at ANZ Stadium offers Cahill a fantastic chance to bow out.
He says he’s relishing the chance to wear the Caltex Socceroos badge one last time.
“Wearing the jersey is a badge of honour. You’re representing 24 million plus Australians across Australia and around the world,” he said.
“I knew early what it meant to play for my country. I knew that it was more than a game and a chance to go and fly the flag for all the young children that look up to me.
“Once I’m on the pitch I have that domain that I can work in that I couldn’t be stopped and it proved a big part of what I did with the Socceroos.”