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.
Refreshed Ryan ready for big year with club and country
Mat Ryan says an off-season trip home to Australia with family and friends has him primed for a big year ahead for Brighton and the Caltex Socceroos. The 27-year-old shot-stopper has rarely had an off-season break in recent years as he mixes Premier League football with his co
‘That sums up their passion’: Caltex Socceroos skipper witnesses awesome Matildas moment
Socceroos captain Mark Milligan and coach Graham Arnold were among the ecstatic Australian support watching the Matildas’ stunning comeback victory over Brazil on Friday morning (AEST). The Matildas recorded one of the most remarkable results in FIFA Women’s World Cup history
Caltex Socceroos to participate in Copa America 2020
Football Federation Australia (FFA) today confirmed it had accepted an invitation from the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) for the Caltex Socceroos to participate in the Copa America next year. FFA Chairman Chris Nikou said this was a huge opportunity for Aust
Ryan aiming to break 39-year Brighton curse on Premier League opening weekend
Caltex Socceroos custodian Mathew Ryan has learned who he’ll face in the Brighton and Hove Albion goal on the opening weekend of the Premier League 2019/20 season in August. A trip to Vicarage Road to face 2019 FA Cup Finalists Watford on August 10 is the first league assignme