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Can former Everton great match Pele & Ronaldo World Cup record?

Cahill at 38 remains hungry for goals

Australia v Netherlands: Group B - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
Cahill celebrates a sensational goal in 2014
Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images

When Australia take on France today in the first game Denmark today in the second game Peru today in the third game of Group C action at the 2018 World Cup, one Everton veteran will be eyeing an epic record that only some of the greatest players have ever achieved.

After his memorable hattrick yesterday last week, Cristiano Ronaldo became only the fourth player to have scored in four separate World Cup tournaments, with goals in 2006 in Germany, 2010 in South Africa, 2014 in Brazil and now in Russia. His momentous achievement was capped by something that no one else has ever done as well, with the Portuguese forward becoming the first player ever to score in eight consecutive major international tournaments, starting at 2004 Euros.

The three previous players to have scored in four straight World Cups are Brazil’s Pele (1958, 1962, 1966, 1970), widely considered the best player to have stepped on the pitch, and a pair of German strikers in Uwe Seeler (1958, 1962, 1966, 1970) and Miroslav Klose (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014).

However, at the age of 38, Tim Cahill will be aspiring to join that elite group during this tournament as Australia line up against France, Denmark and Peru. He recently hit his 50th international goal as his brace fired the Socceroos to a win over Syria in the Asian qualifiers, and eventually to a win over Honduras in the World Cup qualification playoff late last year.

Cahill’s previous World Cup goals came in 2006 (two against Japan), 2010 (against Serbia), 2014 (against Chile and this epic bomb against the Netherlands).

The 38-year-old played at Everton from 2004-12, scoring 68 times with 29 assists in 226 appearances and remains a highly revered figure among the Blues. Cahill has not forgotten his time at Goodison Park, commemorating it with a prominent tattoo and faithfully watching Everton games with his sons adorned in Toffees’ gear.

He has had a quiet season, playing in just 159 minutes with Melbourne City and at Milwall, but the talismanic forward has always reserved his most key goals for his country but manager Bert van Marwijk did come under fire for taking him to Russia.

It’s unlikely Cahill will start in any games but could still come on as an impact substitute to break a game open as only he can do. Blues the world over will certainly become Socceroos fans whenever Australia take to the pitch as we will him to that record-equalling goal.