Legendary Australian Socceroo, and recent football retiree, TIM CAHILL reminisces about his illustrious career, talks up his new role as ambassador for Where Heroes Are Made, discusses how he wants to leave this world and whether he’s going to Heaven or Hell…
Hey, Timmy, now that you’re retired, what did you love most about playing for the Socceroos?
It comes from the honour of representing your country on the world stage. This is something taught to you early on in Australia – it’s an honour and not something you can ever take for granted.
How difficult was it to make the call on retiring from the Socceroos?
It wasn’t too hard to be honest – I knew I was making the right call and that my family totally supported my decision.
You’ve played in many different leagues around the world – which one are you most proud of?
I’ve loved experiencing so many different countries and every league has been great in its own way. The UK is football 24/7 which was all I ever wanted growing up. America was on another level with the entertainment aspect and China was incredible to experience a culture that’s very different to anywhere I had played before. Coming home to Australia was special because of the connection with the fans and now India is opening my eyes to another amazing country.
What are your top three highlights of your illustrious career?
Winning the 2015 Asian Cup, beating Japan in the 2006 World Cup and playing in the Premier League. Of course, the three World Cup campaigns were all highlights in their own right. Each had really special moments and playing on the biggest stage in the world against so many superstars is amazing.
You scored Australia’s first-ever FIFA World Cup goal in 2006. Describe this moment.
That game in itself was such a rollercoaster. From finding out I would be on the bench to start, which was devastating at the time. Seeing us go down 1-0 and then getting told that I would be coming on, I just knew I wanted to make an impact. To score those goals and then for John [Aloisi] to finish it off 3-1 was massive for the entire squad as it was Australia’s first ever goals and first ever World Cup win.
How does it feel to be the all-time top goal scorer for Australia?
Looking at the amazing players that came before me and the ones that I have played with, to be on that list is great in itself. To me, it’s a reward for hard work more than anything. It’s also thanks to a lot of great service from my teammates.
Besides comraderies with teammates, what will you miss most about being part of the Socceroos?
Putting on the jersey before a match and that feeling of stepping out to represent your country. That feeling is going to be pretty hard to replace.
What do you think is the greatest ever moment in football?
World Cups – it just doesn’t get any better than that.
What’s one not-so-greatest moment in football?
End of season – I would play 24/7 if they would let me!
How do you want to leave this world?
Happy! That’s the only way to go.
What would be your last meal?
Definitely a home cooked meal from my mum.
Are you going to Heaven or Hell?
Not sure – guess I’ll have to wait and see.
Which legendary people will you hang out with in the afterlife?
Nelson Mandela and Muhammad Ali have been two idols of mine.
What’s the greatest Tim Cahill feat or moment that never saw the light of day?
Every goal I scored in the backyard against my brothers!
Besides family, what’s your greatest achievement during your time on Earth?
Football and hopefully inspiring kids to follow their dreams.
Tell us how you got involved with “Where Heroes Are Made”.
When I was asked about being involved I jumped at the opportunity because although I don’t play in Australia anymore, I am always keeping an eye on the Westfield W-League, Hyundai A-League and the players who are coming through. Where Heroes Are Made is all about celebrating the talent that we have playing week in, week out in Australia and encouraging fans to go along and see their club’s heroes in action.
What does being a Hero Scout for “Where Heroes Are Made mean to you?
For me, it’s about building up the amazing talent we have here in the W-League and A-League. Amy and I went through every club and each one has players that fans should be really excited about for this season.
What advice do you have for the current Socceroo squad?
It’s mostly about being a top professional all of the time, not just when you’re in Socceroos camp. It’s something you should be doing every day whether it is submitting your training and diet details or doing extra prehab and rehab. Taking the intensity off Socceroos camp and trying to reach that level all of the time.
What quality advice do you have for our readers?
Be fearless – hopefully I’ll have lived my entire life that way.
TIM CAHILL IS A HERO SCOUT FOR THE HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON “WHERE HEROES ARE MADE” GO TO WWW.MYFOOTBALL.COM.AU
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