Interviews

Tim Cahill: Yes, I've played jetlagged – it’s a big reason why I left Everton

Tim Cahill has told FourFourTwo that his constant jet-setting between Australia and England contributed to his decision to leave Everton

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The Sydney-born attacker proved a big hit in the blue half of Merseyside after leading Millwall to the 2004 FA Cup Final, spending eight seasons at Goodison Park and netting 56 Premier League goals.

He has remained a dedicated member of the Socceroos squad, breaking their all-time scoring record in 2014 – fittingly at The Den – and could set a new appearance record if he plays at the World Cup.

But Cahill admits that the frequent to-ing and fro-ing from Asia to Europe meant he sometimes turned out for the Toffees still feeling jetlagged from the long flight back from international duty.

Speaking in the June 2018 issue of FourFourTwo, he says: “Have I ever played while jetlagged? One hundred per cent. When you play for Australia and in the Premier League, it's a recipe for disaster.

“You'll finish a game on a Saturday, fly Sunday, get there Monday and train Tuesday, then play on Wednesday and fly back as you’ve got a game on Sunday. I did that so many times with Everton – that’s why you have to make better decisions later in your career. It’s a big reason why I left Everton.

“A few players were shocked [when I signed for New York Red Bulls in 2012] as I hadn’t told anyone about it – it was done so quickly and quietly, because that’s the way I like to do business.

“I remember going into the treatment room and Joleon Lescott, Tony Hibbert and Leon Osman were there. I told them: 'I’m off.' They said: 'What?! Where are you going?' I said: 'New York – it’s being announced in an hour.' They were like, 'What?!' I think Jags [Phil Jagielka] turned around and half-slapped me. He said: 'Nothing ceases to amaze me about decisions with you!' because one week I was playing and the next week I was off to MLS. But I wanted to experience a new adventure.”

Cahill is also quick to hail former Toffees boss David Moyes, and believes Everton have missed the authenticity of the Scot – now in charge of West Ham – since he joined Manchester United in 2013.

“He was a massive influence on my career,” says the 38-year-old. “He’s like a father figure to me in football – someone I always call on for all of the big decisions. He believed in me from day one.

“What he did for Everton goes beyond being a great coach: they miss how much he really loved the club. You’ve got to be careful what you wish for when you want money and change, as you lose a little bit of authenticity. I love him just as much for the way he took care of his players off the park.”

Read the full One-on-One interview with Tim Cahill in the June 2018 issue of FourFourTwo magazine. The latest in our series of World Cup special issues, we chat exclusively to Harry Kane and analyse the challenges facing Neymar, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in their bid to achieve international immortality. Plus, we hear from Davor Suker, Hristo Stoichkov, Toto Schillaci about how to win the Golden Boot, wonder what’s happened to 2014 hero Mario Gotze, definitively reveal which of the 20 tournaments is the best ever, and preview the 2018 World Cup with a comprehensive 68-page guide to this summer's finals in Russia. Order your copy of FourFourTwo today, and then become a subscriber!