(FILES) A photo taken on October 10, 2017 shows Ti
(FILES) A photo taken on October 10, 2017 shows Ti

Cahill rules out A-League move, open to other offers

SOCCEROOS legend Tim Cahill says he's open to offers as he looks to extend his career despite calling time on his Socceroos days - but has shut the door on a return to the A-League.

Cahill opened up on his experiences playing in his fourth World Cup, as well as being used in a diminished role under coach Bert van Marwijk as Australia struggled to crack games open with their talismanic striker on the bench.

The 38-year-old got emotional when reminiscing about his exceptional career, and the support he's had from his family, but says he won't be finishing his career in Australia - suggesting a move back to the MLS in America is in his sights.

Cahill played 28 games for Melbourne City, scoring 11 goals, in his lone A-League stint but there'd been suggestions he was being courted to have another crack.

"I have heard whispers about (returning to) the A-League," Cahill said.

"I will be open and honest, my experience was fantastic, my debut is something I will never forget.

"To live in America and play in the A-League is impossible so respectfully I will draw a line in the sand about me coming home. That should stop any whispers."

 

Cahill came through in the clutch for Australia time and time again. Picture: AP
Cahill came through in the clutch for Australia time and time again. Picture: AP

 

WHAT LED TO DECISION?

Straight after the World Cup and leading into it, the six months before, every decision I made was for my country. To help the team, help the players and then afterwards I wanted to have a free mind and reflect. I had an inkling on holiday that I wanted more time, but the support from my family, I felt, four World Cups, Asian Cups and Olympic Games, amazing moments. I thought do I want to play in the Asian Cup? I would love to but a lot of pressure comes with being a footballer, my family get concerned. For me it is the right time. I can pass the baton on. Arnie can prepare, I can be there for the boys. I'm not going anywhere really, I will always be their mentor, I always try and make a massive impact on the players especially about what it means to play for your country. This wasn't an easy decision, I want this to be a good moment. It's a big decision to retire when you know you can still kick a ball. Mentally and physically this was the perfect decision.

 

 

FAVOURITE GOAL AND ACHIEVEMENT?

Goal would have to be the first ever in a World Cup, you're so proud when you first put on that jersey. Every single day now I have stopped, none of this has sunk in. The next camp will come around and then I will have to realise it's becoming a reality. Goals are a reward but I play every game like it's my last. You never know when it is going to end. There are so many goals, they all mean so much whether a tap in or a great strike, there are so many moments I am proud of.

 

TIMMY TIME

At 33 years old and you have done 3 World Cups, one thing I have learned, especially when playing for your country, all I care about is the team, it's all about them. I knew I would get my time (In Russia) that is what I was preparing for in the 44 days. In Turkey I did everything possible, I never missed a session, I knew I would get a moment and I got it against Peru. I can't thank everyone for their support. Frustration is a word used because others would have wanted me to play more but for me it was an honour to play a fourth World Cup. A player has to think a lot bigger than himself. I feel that is why I am fine retiring, there was nothing I didn't do on and off the park. When I saw the support I was surprised. In the end I got the support that we all deserve, it was a great experience.

 

Tim Cahill scored 11 goals for Melbourne City before leaving in bitter circumstances.
Tim Cahill scored 11 goals for Melbourne City before leaving in bitter circumstances.

 

PLANS GOING FORWARD

I've had a few conversations with Arnie and the FFA who have been so supportive. I am always someone who keeps the cards close to the chest. When you make a decision like this it has to be your own, it has to be organic. That's what I wanted; I wanted this to be my decision. I am interested in coaching; I want to help do great things for soccer in Australia. I want to ensure I can still be an ambassador for the A-League. I will go to the UK for my UEFA license, then I will open a door for offers to play football, Ive not really entertained anyone yet. I've been selfish and had some family time. Domestic, there could be opportunity but I have time to decide.

 

Tim Cahill made the decision with his family on holidays in the Maldives after the World Cup. Picture: Instagram
Tim Cahill made the decision with his family on holidays in the Maldives after the World Cup. Picture: Instagram

 

NEXT CLUB

I have heard whispers about the A-League. I will be open and honest, my experience was fantastic, my debut is something I will never forget. To live in America and play in the A-League is impossible so respectfully I will draw a line in the sand about me coming home. That should stop any whispers.

 

WORKING WITH BERT IN RUSSIA

There weren't many conversations I don't think many players had any. I just made sure they knew that if they needed me I was there. It was probably one of the best environments I have been in from a World Cup campaign this time around.

 

Australia's Tim Cahill shakes hands with head coach Bert van Marwijk. Picture: AAP
Australia's Tim Cahill shakes hands with head coach Bert van Marwijk. Picture: AAP

USAIN BOLT TO THE A-LEAGUE?

He is a fantastic world class athlete. He has to prove fitness and that he can play football. If he can they let's see. All that matters is what the fans what. I can't comment on if he can do it because I have never seen him play. But let's make sure we protect our game. When we talk about players - Iniesta, Torres, let's be realistic. These players are on tax free money, a lot of pressure gets put on clubs and the FFA. Everyone needs to work in harmony to grow the game.



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