The Socceroos player revealed that by playing abroad – in the Premier League, Major League Soccer and now the Chinese Super League – he hopes to be an ambassador for Australian football.
Cahill was responding to questions about why he has not chosen to end his career in Australia's domestic league.
The former Everton man said: "This is much more of an impact on Australian football I feel than as a player, purely because of my actions as a footballer for the Socceroos.
"Every time I play, I play like it's going to be my last game, every time I'm in camp I try and help lead the group and really try and influence them mentally on what makes them tick.
"I'll never rule it out (playing in the A-League) but if I'm going to do anything in Australia it's going to be grassroots first."
Cahill added: "I'm an ambassador for football. Being in New York, being in Shanghai, with the relationships that I'm going to bring to Australia with football and sponsorship is a whole different element which people don't understand.
"Regardless of what anyone thinks of the move, people will read about what I am doing in China. I want to do well on the pitch and off the pitch for Australia. I will make all the right noises."