FIFA World Cup: Tim Cahill hopeful for Socceroos success

Australia star Tim Cahill says national coach Graham Arnold cannot afford to pick any “passengers” in Australia’s squad for this year’s World Cup.

Cahill, a member of the Sokeros team at the previous four World Cups, said he would enjoy being a “fan” at the tournament that will take place from November 21 to December 18 in Qatar, where he is the Director of Sports at Aspire Academy.

The 42-year-old former Everton star addressed the Sokeros squad in June in the World Cup qualifiers – also in Qatar – as the Australians first beat the United Arab Emirates and then Peru on a thrilling penalty shootout to qualify.

“It was great seeing the boys and inviting them to camp,” Cahill said on Tuesday in Brisbane, as he unveiled Australia’s first BYD Atto 3 electric car, as an investor in the company.

“It was a great experience for me because working in Qatar and across many associations in football, as well as the academy, my education has evolved a lot since my retirement and so has my experience.

“All I have added is to help Australia in any way possible to qualify for the biggest show on earth.”

Cahill refused to compare his team to the former, urging Arnold’s team to forget about the rocky road to qualification and seize the moment instead.

“A lot of what I told them wasn’t worrying about what happened yesterday,” he said.

“It was about being fortunate enough, no matter the flight and how up and down, to be there and focus on today and tomorrow and how they can affect their efficiency and production every day from now until the last kick of the ball.

“I was very clear about my feelings because now is the time you can’t pick up any passengers at 11.

“Football is because of the investment you put in it and the academic aspect of it. I talk about the facts and I talk about what I know.”

Despite his claim to be “neutral”, Cahill wants the Australian team to do well in Qatar because “it will calm down what happened before”.

“I put on the shirt,” he said, “and it’s not for me to compare who’s better and who’s better – I’m actually separated from them.”

“(But) you have helped Australia and I am constantly helping Australia.

“(Australian football chief executive) James Johnson and Graham Arnold are now exactly the influence I have on the country when needed.

“We’ve qualified now, so you don’t have to worry about a draw or losing to the teams, it’s about whether the team can prepare this time to compete against (Group D rivals) France, Denmark and Tunisia.”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: