Tim Cahill has played for the Socceroos for a decade but says this current side is the best national team he’s played with.
Cahill made his debut for Australia in 2004 in a friendly against South Africa and has over 70 international caps. He has played in third World Cups and two Asian Cups, including the ‘Golden Generation’ side that got out of the group in 2006 and the XI that reached the Asian Cup final in 2011.
Talking to the media after Australia’s 3-2 loss to the Netherlands, Cahill said this was this best Socceroo team he has ever played with “purely because of the way we’ve played.
“We’ve come here and actually played to impose our style on Holland,” he said. “You see Holland’s style of football was a lot of long balls. Our style yesterday was the opposite. It was all football, we tried to restrict the long balls and not too many crosses because we knew that we could do something possibly special in that game.”
Cahill spoke to Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie and Nigel De Jong after the match in Porto Alegre.
“They were very complimentary on the way we played,” he said. “They were surprised. When I watched the game last night, I’ve seen a Dutch side play so many long balls. I’ve never seen a back four play so many long balls into the strikers. It was probably like the way we played four years ago.
“When you look at it yesterday the only difference was Robben and van Persie, and that’s two world-class strikers. Regardless of the whole team that they’ve got behind them, but hopefully in the future we’ll have two similar players like that, that we can produce in Australia.”
Cahill believes the Socceroos have earned respect for their displays in Brazil.
“It is something we deserve,” he said. “You can only do this with actions. Overall when you look at it, going into this World Cup people were talking about the inexeperience, the unknown, the defence, how are we going to score goals.
“After each game we’ve progressed and still when you look at this team, it’s probably about education for everyone. I’ve only ever played with Mile and Matty Ryan three or four times in my life. And yet we’ve produced performances like we have done in the past four matches.”
Cahill will miss the next match against Spain, after picking up a second yellow card against the Dutch, but is confident the Socceroos can challenge the 2010 World Cup winners.
“You can be disappointed but I’m all about embracing the moment,” he said. “I’m not going to be disappointed purely because they are starting to really find out how good they really are. And it’s not until they show now what they’re capable of.
“So we’ve still got one more game and we still want to make amends and make our mark, other than playing well and that’s trying to get three points. That’s trying to get a win. Regardless, we are playing the current world champions.
“They’ve had a hard time and for us this is the biggest tournament on the planet. For the boys there’s so much more to get from this tournament.”comments