In the fourth of our series on Asian World Cup icons, “Same Same But Different: Your Asian Football Show” features Australia’s evergreen Tim Cahill.
In the first three parts of our series on Asian World Cup icons, we have featured Ahn Jung-hwan, Mohamed Al-Deayea and Ali Daei, a trio who has stamped their own mark on world football’s biggest stage.
Our fourth icon is no different. Well, maybe just one tiny difference – Tim Cahill is still playing and will be headed for Russia 2018 with Australia, his fourth appearance at a FIFA World Cup.
However, were it not for a change in FIFA rules, Cahill might never had pulled on the green and gold jersey of Australia given he had been capped at youth level by Samoa.
He was also eligible to represent Republic of Ireland and England but committed to the country of his birth and, in 2004, made his Socceroos debut in a friendly against South Africa
The rest, as they say is history and making history is something Cahill is familiar with.
— TIM CAHILL (@Tim_Cahill) June 10, 2018
He is the first Australian to ever score at a World Cup, as well as the AFC Asian Cup, and is currently his country’s all-time top scorer with 50 goals in 105 caps.
He netted a brace at the 2006 World Cup in a 3-1 win over Japan, one against Serbia four years later, and another two at Brazil 2014 – one of which being a stunning volley against Netherlands.
Now 38, Cahill’s decorated career is slowing coming to a close but he still has plenty to offer the Socceroos, as he showed with a crucial double last October in their qualifying playoff win over Syria.
Australia's Tim Cahill will be playing in his fourth World Cup this summer:
— 8 Fact Football (@8Fact_Footballl) June 7, 2018
Should he take to the field in Russia, the Sydney native will join a select group of players to have appeared at four World Cups.
Still, regardless of what happens over the next month, Cahill is assured of his place in footballing history.
The only thing is there could yet be one final chapter of his World Cup story left to write.