The realisation Australia will never see Tim Cahill don the Socceroos jersey and box the corner flag begins to creep in following the announcement of his International retirement.
Cahill officially announced the news dressed in all black, during a sombre yet celebratory farewell fit for a player of his status.
In the eyes of many, Cahill is Australia’s greatest ever footballer.
Five goals in four World Cups, an Asian Cup triumph and the title of Australia’s greatest ever goal scorer among many other accolades certainly justifies this tag.
Socceroos teammate and long-time friend of Cahill, Archie Thompson, believes Cahill was a great ambassador for the sport and will continue to do so through his off-field leadership.
“What he’s done is unbelievable, no one has worn the Australian jersey like he has,” Thompson said exclusively to FNR.
“He’s a leader and just seems to get the team up and going, and that’s what’s going to be missed.”
While Cahill was not the most technically gifted player according to Thompson, his determination and will to succeed was instrumental in putting Australia where it is on the football landscape.
“Timmy may not have had the skills of the other players, but he utilised what he did have and is what made him a star,” Thompson added.
Cahill’s retirement exacerbates concerns in relation to Australia’s ability to score, with Cahill perpetually coming to the side’s rescue even in the latter stages of his career, but the 38-year-old was confident in his press conference of the talent at hand.
Thompson labels Cahill’s off-field work with the next crop of strikers as “outstanding”, believing Cahill will continue to work with the national team in some capacity following his retirement.
“He’s got very big shoes to fill and I don’t see anyone doing it just yet, but we have an Asian Cup coming up and hopefully we have someone stepping up then.”
Thompson revealed he first met Cahill in 2002 and set the record straight as to who created the famous corner flag celebration.
“Because he’s fresh out of playing he did, but really I did,” Thompson concluded.
Thompson first used the celebration after scoring a goal against Jamaica, which caught the eye of Cahill who asked if he could take it to the English Premier League.
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