Tim Cahill – Australia
Full Name: Timothy Cahill
Date of Birth: 6th December, 1979
Position: Midfielder (Attacking-Midfielder)
Current Club: Everton (England)
2009-2010 Club Appearances/Goals: 43-10
International Caps: 37
International Goals: 19
Australia have enjoyed the services from some top-notch players in the past, Mark Viduka instantly springs to mind, but in South Africa the hopes of a nation, a nation which is slowly but surely beginning to show it’s public love for the sport – With Australia within the top five countries having brought the most tickets in South Africa – lye with Tim Cahill. The former Samoan international only made his international début for Australia in 2004, and despite having a six-year span between then and now, Cahill has only notched up a meagre 37 caps. In fact, it took a while for the country to fully discover Tim Cahill’s qualities, and identify that the dogged Aussie is a talented and highly-motivated individual, often used as a sub in the early part of his career and rarely a permanent fixture in the first-team. The Everton vice-captain is a prime example of a player willing to shed blood and tears for the team on the field, and one player which always wears his heart on his sleeve, both for club and country. In Germany 2006, it was Tim Cahill who scored Australia’s first ever World Cup goal when coming off the bench to score twice against Japan, single-handily driving his team towards three huge points, three points which ultimately pushed them in the direction of the knock-outs and the country’s first ever win in a World Cup. If anyone ever doubted Cahill’s commitment to his country, Cahill certainly put them in their place with that mean 10 minute spell of his.
Ever since Tim Cahill’s heroics at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, he’s been a permanent fixture in the national team, and because of his English Premier League background Cahill is a player everyone else in camp looks up to and seeks inspiration and knowledge from. Cahill has played in arguably the most demanding league in Europe, the English Premier League, and against some of the world’s finest players, so his knowledge of today’s brand of football will be second to none and a trait Australia coach Pim Verbeek will look to make full use of in South Africa. In terms of Tim Cahill’s overall footballing ability, he has tonnes of it. His best attribute, though despite being just 5ft 10in tall, is his aerial prowess, this unique ability of his to jump several feet in the air with his spring like leap, similar to a kangaroo in fairness, and out-jumping even the tallest of defenders. However, it’s not just his aerial ability which gets him his fair share of goals, his vision and awareness, as well as some fantastic positional sense, ensures he fits the tag of ‘In the right place, at the right time’ on so many occasions. Cahill reads the play so well and so often is Cahill the first to react inside the penalty area. From set-pieces, although his weight would make some managers think otherwise, Cahill is a menace and a constant threat. After all, he’s made both a living and a formidable reputation off set-pieces in England.
Tim Cahill isn’t just about goal however, his attitude on the pitch is second to none and a shining example to how the rest of the team should act when representing their country on the field. If Australia are to at least match their 2006 feat of making the Round of 16 stage, Tim Cahill needs another notable tournament, leading from the front with some industrious performances as well as some crucial goals.