Tim Cahill’s former manager David Moyes has told thewest.com.au the Socceroos talisman’s unbreakable spirit is the cornerstone to his World Cup success.
Cahill was the toast of fans around the globe after smashing home a staggering left-footed volley against the Netherlands in Porto Alegre earlier this week.
The goal, in what will almost certainly be Cahill’s final World Cup match after he was banned for the last group game with Spain, was his fifth in three finals – exactly the same as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney combined following the Englishman’s effort against Uruguay.
Moyes probably knows the Socceroos No.4 as well as anyone in the game, having been his boss at Everton for eight years from 2004.
And while the Scot is still to declare his next move following his sacking by Manchester United in April, he happily praised the man he paid Millwall £1.5 million for, nine years ago.
“It was a wonderful goal, come the big games he was always someone you could rely on to get you a goal,” Moyes said.
“It’s a great knack and one of his biggest strengths - he got me some great goals at Everton at different times.”
Merseyside derbies were Cahill’s favourites - he scored five goals in 12 games against Liverpool, the best by an Everton player since the legendary Dixie Dean in the 1920s and 30s. And going up against the likes of Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Xabi Alonso, Cahill never took a backward step.
“Tim Cahill’s biggest asset is his attitude, he’s a tough boy,” Moyes said. “He’s one of those people who can give knocks and can take knocks.
“He also has great charisma. You’ve seen it at the World Cup, he’s willing to take responsibility to ensure Australia grow in strength and do well.
“He said beforehand he would be responsible for the team and he’s really handled it well.
“It’s hard to keep on playing year after year (the way Tim plays). But I thought in the World Cup he was back to the old Tim Cahill we knew at Everton – the aggression and determination to score goals.
“He has really done everything he can do for Australia and if that is to be his last World Cup game then it’s a great way to bow out.”