Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold has implored fans to turn out in numbers at ANZ stadium when Tim Cahill plays his farewell game for Australia.
Cahill, Australia’s all-time leading goal scorer will earn his 108th and final cap against Lebanon on Tuesday November 20 making the 38-year-old the second most capped Socceroo just one behind Mark Schwarzer.
The former Everton star is considered Australia’s greatest ever player for his historic feats with the Socceroos which included four memorable World Cup goals and four consecutive World Cups.
Cahill’s last appearance for Australia was against Peru at the 2018 World Cup and with 50 goals for the Socceroos under his belt, the veteran striker announced his international retirement soon after.
Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold believes the Lebanon friendly is a chance for the Australian public to honour Cahill for the service he has provided for his country.
“We need to respect and reward our legend of the game,” he said. “He’s done a hell of a lot for football for us.
"Four World Cups, the important goals that he has scored to get us to a World Cup last campaign against Syria in 120 minutes.
“He’ll be playing the last five or so minutes plus extra time so the fans will get an opportunity to see him.
“They should get out in numbers at ANZ Stadium to support and say farewell to a legend because it might be a very, very long time before you see another Timmy Cahill.”
Another recent retiree from the Socceroos is Mile Jedinak, who also hung up his international boots after the 2018 World Cup.
While Arnold admitted that both Jedinak and Cahill are a huge loss from the national team he is confident that the current Socceroos squad can cover the experienced duo.
“Timmy and Mile were fantastic for the Socceroos especially over the last four years,” he said.
“They scored most of the goals on that journey but it’s about getting players through and getting the other players to step up in leadership roles.
“It’s also getting those players to believe in themselves.
“Not having Mile and Timmy in and around the team is a different environment, it’s also one were leadership players can step up and take over that role on the field.
“I expect to find these solutions and I believe those solutions are there.”
Meanwhile one of the players earmarked to take Cahill’s spot is Hibernian striker Jamie Maclaren who has been recalled to the squad for the Korea and Lebanon friendly series after recovering from injury.
“Jamie was in the World Cup squad and has had fantastic seasons at Brisbane,” Arnold said. “I know (Hibs manager) Neil Lennon holds him in high regard and I look forward to working with Jamie.
“ I know what his qualities are and his qualities are scoring goals and I expect that to happen. I spoke to Paul Giannou last night and I explained to him why he wasn’t in the squad for this one.
“He did great for me against Kuwait but it’s more about me getting the opportunity to look at Jamie Maclaren and Andrew Nabbout and being able to tick every box and giving them the opportunity.”