Tim Cahill to return for one last time in a Socceroos shirt

Guardian sport

Tim Cahill might have retired from international football but that won’t stop him from pulling on a Socceroos shirt for one final time and bidding farewell to the Australian public during a friendly match in November.

Australia play Lebanon at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on 20 November in an important Asian Cup warm-up, but the game will also serve as a chance for the Socceroos’ all-time leading goalscorer to say goodbye to his hometown crowd.

As expected, the 38-year-old announced his international retirement after the World Cup in Russia, where he featured just once off the bench, but he and Football Federation Australia announced on Tuesday he is not quite done yet.

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Cahill said he was surprised to have received the call and was honoured to be given the opportunity to show his appreciation to fans for the last time when he steps off the bench.

“I am truly humbled to have the opportunity to take part in this farewell game,” Cahill said. “I really appreciate the FFA and Arnie [Graham Arnold] giving me the chance to put on the Socceroos jersey on last time.

“It’s going to be incredibly special to represent my country for the final time and I can’t wait to say thank you to all the fans who have supported me throughout my career.”

Arnold, who will begin his tenure as Socceroos coach against South Korea in Brisbane three days before the game in Sydney, said a desire to instil a culture of respect for players on and off the pitch was behind the decision to give Cahill the chance to put on the jersey one more time.

“Even though that this is an important game in our preparation for the Asian Cup, giving Timmy and the public the opportunity to say goodbye is important to us,” said Arnold.

“Tim has made many sacrifices to play for his country and deserves a final bow in front of Australian fans in Australia.”

Having left Millwall in England’s second tier before heading to Russia, Cahill further prolonged his club career by signing for Indian Super League side Jamshedpur FC over the weekend.

The former Everton player said he made the decision to move to India to help grow the game there and encourage children to play football.

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