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Evergreen Cahill's World Cup dream still alive

AFP  |  Kazan (Russia) 

shot down talk of retirement on Thursday as he targets joining on an elite, four-man list of players to have scored at four World Cups.

But first he has to hope Australia's Dutch gives him the nod from the substitutes' bench.

Socceroos great Cahill is responsible for nearly half of Australia's 11 goals to date.

And although he is expected to start all three Group C games -- against France, and -- on the bench, Cahill's dream of becoming just the fourth after Brazil's and Germans and to score in four World Cups remains intact.

At 38 years old, time is against the Australian, who says he has "spent a whole year getting ready for three games".

Cahill underlined his personal ambitions, and those of an team hoping to stun Euro 2016 finalists in Kazan, on Saturday.

Asked about his future plans, he said: "The factor is, we train today, we train the day after, then we play and that's all that's on my mind.

"For me, being here now just means so much to me. To get on the pitch is going to be one step, to score would just be amazing. To join the list of names that are on there now would just be priceless."

At 2006, then fresh-faced Everton striker Cahill struck a late double to stun Japan, setting up a 3-1 win that was crucial to their march into the last 16.

Four years later in South Africa, Cahill hit another against in their ultimately futile bid for a last-16 place.

At 2014 Cahill struck again, reducing the team's arrears while 2-0 down to Chile, and then underlined his class with a stunning volley that clattered in off the crossbar to level against the

- Millwall move -


Cahill now has to hope his "calculated decision" to return to England -- moving to Championship side Millwall in January in a bid for more playing time and to maintain the fitness levels demanded by -- pays off.

"It would (have been) a massive heartache not to be here but it wouldn't have been for the lack of trying," he said.

"The hardest thing as a footballer, leading into a World Cup, is just to prepare. The moment I decided to go to Millwall it was purely to be involved, if I could physically and mentally, in my fourth

"The games and the training I played there helped so much. Now that I'm actually here, to talk about it, it's amazing." The dream remains intact, but Van Marwijk has started Urawa Reds striker in the Socceroos' past four games and Cahill, despite his track record, is not second choice.

But if he does get the nod, Cahill says he will be ready.

"It's every kid's dream. I speak to a lot of the young players. (Daniel) Arzani sits next to me... and all we talk about is, when you get a chance, you have to take it.

"You don't know until you try. If I get on that pitch, I'm going to try and make something happen.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, June 14 2018. 16:16 IST