Caltex Socceroos star Tim Cahill has left Melbourne City with immediate effect, the Hyundai A-League club confirmed on Wednesday.
Cahill, who turned 38 today, has mutually agreed to leave City as he chases more game time ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
“Playing in the domestic league in Australia was always an important career goal for me, and my experience here has been fulfilling from start to finish,” Cahill said.
“The welcome from fans, the quality of the facilities and the ever-increasing quality of football continues to be a source of immense pride.
“I want to thank Melbourne City, the players and the staff, and especially the fans. It was amazing to help bring the first piece of silverware to this club, and this makes me very proud.
“My experience here has been great and I have enjoyed contributing to the culture inside the Club, being asked to take on a leadership role and, most importantly, being able to mentor a lot of the younger players - something I will continue to do in the future.
“It’s never easy to say goodbye but it was great to win last weekend and make a contribution, and also to have the club sitting third in the league.
“Qualifying for the World Cup has been a great adventure, and it would be a massive honour to represent my country in Russia. That will be my focus in the coming months.”
At this stage it’s unclear where Cahill will play next but he’ll want to get his club future sorted quickly with the World Cup on the horizon.
Cahill signed with City in August 2016, making a stunning debut in the Melbourne Derby against Victory where he scored a half-volley from 35 metres that was later awarded Hyundai A-League Goal of the Season.
Tim Cahill scored a stunner in last season's Melbourne Derby at Etihad.
In all, he scored 12 goals for the club, including the winner in City’s Westfield FFA Cup triumph in 2016.
“Having players of Tim’s stature in the dressing room can only help develop a squad’s ambitions, and his impact on the team and for the club is well known, particularly with the younger players in the squad,” City boss Warren Joyce said.
“In the period that I’ve worked with Tim, I have appreciated the contribution he has made both on and off the field and the dedication he has shown in training. We all wish him the very best on the next stage of his career.”
Cahill is aiming to go to a fourth World Cup with the Caltex Socceroos.
He scored at the tournaments in Germany in 2006, South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014 and would become just the fourth player to score at four World Cup finals if he can find the net in Russia.
Boyle: 'I want to give everything for this country'
New Caltex Socceroos forward Martin Boyle said he is desperate to repay the faith shown in him by coach Graham Arnold after making his Australia debut. Arnold visited Boyle in Scotland earlier this year to speak with the Hibernian man about pledging his allegiance to Australia
Caltex Socceroos skipper says late goal 'shows the character'
New Caltex Socceroos captain Mark Milligan said his side’s fighting spirit was perfectly displayed by Massimo Luongo’s late equaliser against Korea Republic. Luongo struck in stoppage time, tapping in from close range to secure Australia a 1-1 draw at Suncorp Stadium in Brisba
Luongo confident Caltex Socceroos will get 'even better'
Caltex Socceroos hero Massimo Luongo is convinced his side will get “even better” ahead of the AFC Asian Cup 2019. Luongo stabbed home from close range to score an injury-time equaliser for the Caltex Socceroos in an exciting 1-1 friendly draw with Korea Republic on Satur
Pleasing signs all over the park as Caltex Socceroos impress in draw
It took just a few first-half minutes for the Caltex Socceroos to demonstrate a fluid and free-minded attacking system in Saturday evening's 1-1 friendly draw with Korea Republic. And for a team he admits are still a work in progress, Graham Arnold will undoubtedly be pleased