For many of us who are old, simply living for a long time is more accident and good fortune than anything else, so while we appreciate the fact that Tim Cahill is going to his fourth FIFA World Cup tournament later this month, we find comparisons to Pele somewhat disingenuous, as they make it seem as though Cahill is of the equivalent calibre as a footballer.
There are 22 other players on the Socceroos and some who did not make the final 23 for Russia who played a large role in Cahill’s milestone. We admire Cahill, make no mistake, but Australia was within a whisker of not qualifying for FIFA 2018 and if that had been the outcome, Cahill would have been relegated to a case of what might have been.
Pele is currently 77 years of age and we hope to make it there some day. We hope Cahill does as well, but Cahill at his best does not belong in the same sentence when it comes to what matters, which is what was done on the pitch.
Like many others, we would like to see Cahill score a hat trick when the Socceroos meet France in their first Group C match, provided of course, that the other 10 do not let four past them.
Cahill does have one thing going for him. He has shown an uncanny ability to raise his game under the big circumstances, but he has had little time on the pitch in the last days, so even at the second-tier English football club Millwall, Cahill made just 10 appearances in 2018 and failed to net even one.
It can never be taken away from Cahill that he was the first Aussie to score in the World Cup Finals. The statistic of most goals scored by an Australian in a target for future players, a target we would like to see elevated in Russia.
We would even be gladdened to see Cahill around for World Cup 22, but time marches on inexorably.