Updated June 15, 2018 09:19:47
He couldn't have a higher standing in Australian football, but Tim Cahill has a chance in Russia 2018 to claim a place among the elites of the world game.
The 38-year-old forward has scored five goals in his previous three World Cups. If he finds the net again in this one, he will join legends Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose as the only players to score at four World Cups.
Though Cahill is expected to be used sparingly by coach Bert van Marwijk, most likely as an impact substitute late in games, it would be little surprise if he took the first opportunity which came his way.
"I'll be so excited and so happy just to be able to step on the pitch. But after that, I'm in a different world," Cahill told a packed press conference at the Socceroos' Kazan training base on Thursday.
"You know, I'd love to join the greats, being an Australian.
"Being someone that has broken all barriers as a young professional, to do something special for my country."
Australia takes on the might of France in its first match of the tournament on Saturday.
Despite stressing that former coach Ange Postecoglou was the main who deserved much of the credit for getting Australia to the World Cup finals, Cahill also applauded his successor.
"He's an international coach with a massive calibre and, for us, it's an absolute pleasure to have someone like him come to our country and help teach us a new style," Cahill said.
"He has all the tools and elements from the past and he's experienced. He has been there and lived it and breathed it and he has beat the best.
"When he walks into the room, he has a presence, but he also has a softness about him that players can relate to."
First posted June 15, 2018 08:41:58