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MikeO

Tc Best Oz Player

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AUSTRALIAN coaching great Rale Rasic has paid Tim Cahill the ultimate accolade, describing the Socceroos midfielder as "far and away" the greatest footballer the country has produced.

Rasic made no apologies after admitting he sat "with eyes wide open" watching Cahill's display in the 4-0 win against Qatar in an Asian World Cup qualifier in Brisbane on Wednesday night.

The Everton star scored the opening goal, was brought down in the box for Brett Emerton's penalty, and had a hand in much of the Socceroos' attack.

It was Cahill's first match for Australia since February and he did not miss a beat in a performance Rasic said underlined every facet of his game.

Rasic, 72, said he did not have to think twice to rate him above players like Ray Baartz, Mark Bosnich, Mark Viduka, Harry Kewell and Mark Schwarzer.

He had previously rated Baartz, one of Australia's greatest goal-scorers, and Bosnich, "a true champion", as his top two Australian players.

"Without a doubt, Tim Cahill is the best Australian footballer I have seen in my time," Rasic said.

"I have huge respect for guys like Mark Bosnich, Ray Baartz, Mark Viduka, Harry Kewell, John Kosmina and whoever else you want to name. But, for me, Cahill is a phenomenal talent and stands above all of them.

"He is miles ahead."

Rasic, the first man to take Australia to the World Cup finals (Germany 1974), believes Cahill, 28, would walk into any side in the world, "Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid ... you name it".

"What would those clubs give to have a player like Cahill?" Rasic said.

He added there is not much Cahill, who has been capped 29 times for the national team and scored 14 goals, cannot do.

"You cannot deny his qualities," Rasic said. "He is the complete footballer. He has presence, poise and the ability to read the game. He is great in the air, his heading is exceptional. He is an extraordinary goal-scorer and he just knows where to be at the right time. You can't coach that in a player. You are born with it. It's pure natural ability.

"You only have to watch Everton when he is not in the side. They are a different team without him. When he plays, the whole team lifts. Having a player who can inspire that is priceless.

"I don't know how long he has to go at Everton, but it wouldn't surprise me if some of the biggest clubs in the world want him."

As much as he raves about Cahill's presence on the field, Rasic said he also admires how he conducts himself off the field.

"To me, he is what Australian football is all about," he said. "He always puts his hand up first to play for his country. He is the perfect role model. He is always smiling and he is polite and sincere. What parent would not want their child to be like him?

"You can see he loves playing for Australia. It shows when he talks so passionately about the green and gold and it shows when he plays.

"He is a credit off the park because he handles himself so well, whether he is talking to the media, officials or the fans."

Rasic also paid tribute to Cahill's courage and determination.

"Tim has had some serious injuries that would stop a lesser person," he said. "But he keeps coming back, and he keeps coming back even better and stronger. That is the difference between good players and great players."

Rasic was also impressed with tall striker Josh Kennedy and suggested Australia's goal-scoring stocks are in good hands with Cahill and Kennedy.

"I like the look of Kennedy, he has a presence about him," Rasic said. "If you look closely at the game, he was involved in three of the four goals."

* Cahill has publicly backed the bid for a NSW South Coast team's inclusion into the A-League in 2010.

The Wollongong-based bid is squaring off against the likes of Melbourne and western Sydney for a place in the second wave of expansion earmarked for the 2010-11 season.

The consortium behind the South Coast bid has claimed it is close to securing the financial backing needed to satisfy Football Federation Australia's entry requirements and also has Cahill and fellow Socceroo Scott Chipperfield in its corner.

Cahill, who has already committed to create a youth academy in the area, said it was a matter of "when" a South Coast team would join the competition.

"I am very confident that ultimately the South Coast will be successful in obtaining an A-League licence," Cahill said.

"There is a very good case for an A-League team on the South Coast and from what I know there has been a lot of work gone into the development of the bid and I think it's only a matter of time."

Cahill said the "football heritage" of the South Coast, which produced players such as Johnny Warren and present Socceroos Mile Sterjovski, Luke Wilkshire and Chipperfield, was a key factor in why he wanted to base his first academy in Wollongong.

Inspired by his struggles as a youngster, he plans to eventually create a national network of academies.

"My pathway to where I am today was extremely difficult for me, my parents and my family," Cahill said.

"My parents sacrificed almost everything to give me the opportunity to be successful and if I can make the pathway either to professional football or a better life off the streets easier, than this is a big motivation for what I am doing."

Asked would he consider playing for a South Coast team in the A-League once he returned from England, Cahill said: "Absolutely. Why wouldn't I?"

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Yeh i agree he is our best ever performer. I think if Harry Kewell had of been able to remain injury free he might of been a bit ahead. At Leeds he was one of the best players in the Premier League before signing for Liverpool, it messed up his career. But as i was saying i don't think Rasic's comments will be met with much argument.

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Any premier league team in Australia would be massive. Whilst i would obviously love to see Everton unfortunately i think there would be a truck load more interest if a big four team came as unless an Australian player has had a particuarly good game they are the only teams that get any coverage here. But i still think that if Everton came and played one of our local teams they would fill the MCG (our biggest and best stadium, holds 100,000).

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Just out of interest if Everton were to have a pre-season tour in Oz, would it be popular?

 

 

Everton seem to be a lot more popular in Australia than they are outside of Liverpool in the UK so a trip would go down well.

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Just out of interest if Everton were to have a pre-season tour in Oz, would it be popular?

 

HELL YEAH

it would be a dream come true for the toffies to come to australia, i can guarantee if tim cahill played in an everton side against the likes of say sydney fc at ANZ stadium (olympic stadium) you would get a crowd of 40,000+

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Yeh i agree he is our best ever performer. I think if Harry Kewell had of been able to remain injury free he might of been a bit ahead. At Leeds he was one of the best players in the Premier League before signing for Liverpool, it messed up his career. But as i was saying i don't think Rasic's comments will be met with much argument.

 

Rated Harry at Leeds, shame his career took the nose-dive that it did. Going to Galatasary won't improve things - he's better off with Celtic/Rangers/Aberdeen somewhere close to England where he can show his talent and maybe look for a move to Sunderland/Hull/Wigan.

 

mark viduka jus for kicking 4 goals against those red cunts

 

What a game. Remember that, was only about 8 or 9 but remember it clearly. Amazing game, we should have signed Viduku just for doing that. :P

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