The Socceroos have heaped praise on their superstar striker Tim Cahill after Australia's 2-0 Asian Cup quarter-final victory over China on Thursday night.
“You can’t say anything more about him. The boy’s a freak,” said Socceroo midfielder Mark Milligan. “And the second goal was just as impressive.”
Socceroo striker Nathan Burns was similarly impressed when asked about the Socceroo hero following his two-goal master-class at Brisbane Stadium.
“He’s a freak,” said the Wellington Phoenix goal-machine.
“He can be quiet in games and then you know he’s in the team for that one moment. He produces time and time again.
“That’s why he’s worth the millions because he comes up in the big situations.
“Having him in your team, you know he’s going to bring that to the team.
“There’s never any doubt with him.
“He will tell you he’s not the most technical gifted player but he’s confident. He’ll tell you he’ll score today and he believes himself and backs himself.
“So if you can take that confidence off Timmy and take it into your own game, it’d be a great achievement.”Defender Jason Davidson, whose cross resulted in Cahill's second goal, agreed with the "freak" description. "I've got to agree. As a teammate of his, you want to have that confidence you can put the ball into the box one-on-one he's always going to win his battles. "So when I got the ball out of my feet, I knew where he was and all credit to him for the two goals. He's really a phenomenal striker who can create something out of nothing for the Socceroos." Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak was equally in awe of Australia's record goal scorer. "What do you want me to say that hasn't been said? Obviously at the crucial moment he stepped up again. He thrives on that." "He was probably a bit quiet before that but Timmy's Timmy - if he gets half a sniff of the goal, he's going to take that opportunity. "He's been doing it for much longer than I've been involved with the national team and it's a credit to him. "He's as hungry as ever, you can see that, and it's the right reward for a guy who's been an absolute legend for football in this country. Football is about timing in games and we did do the right thing today."
Meanwhile, Socceroo defender Trent Sainsbury used a different phrase to describe King Cahill.
“Like wine, he keeps getting better with age.”
Milligan, a second half sub, had a golden chance to join Cahill on the scoresheet to make it 3-0 after a brilliant run through the Chinese defence.
“I thought I’d threw enough dummies to make him [China keeper Wang Dalei] fall over. But he didn’t,” he added.
“He’s a fantastic keeper. I’ve know him quite a while when I was at Shanghai Shenhua with him.
“He was a little bit of a wild child back then but he’s come a long way.
“But yes, I would’ve liked one but it wasn’t to be.”
The Socceroos will face Japan or UAE in the Semi-Finals of the AFC Asian Cup at Newcastle Stadium on Tuesday 27 January (8.00pm local kick off). Click Here to purchase tickets.