In an interview with FIFA.com, Socceroos great Tim Cahill offered a heartwarming tribute to his mother's influence on his career.
Cahill is of Samoan heritage and played for the Samoan national team as a teenager before a change in FIFA regulation allowed him to switch allegiances to Australia.
The record-goalscorer said his mother had defined his personality.
“My mum had two jobs. I think she’s been the epitome of who I am, on and off the park, to be fearless and always strive to be the best that I can be," he said.
“My mum has been the focal point to me being who I am today, which I’m very proud of.
He also gave his family credit for motivating him to pursue his professional aspirations, despite continual knockbacks
“I was told at a young age that I’d never be a professional footballer," he continued. "[That] I’m not strong enough, not big enough, and for me that was the motivation at such a young age to kick on.
“I always knew deep down inside that I had something. To be the best or get something worth having... it has to hurt. And then you also have to think about the sacrifices your parents make. My parents sacrificed everything for me.
“So even though I was homesick at 16, 17, 18, getting injured and [having] operations and being on the other side of the world, I thought ‘how lucky am I to get this opportunity’.”