Caltex's Tim Cahill Stunt At The Centre Of World Cup Conspiracy Theory

Tanya Simon
May 17, 2018

The 38-year-old Socceroos stalwart defied his age and lack of club game time for Millwall to make the second cut in Bert van Marwijk's extended squad ahead of in-form Hibernian striker Jamie Maclaren.

Australia's highest ever goalscorer has moved around the world in search of playing time in the lead up to the World Cup and it seems unlikely he would be one of the three players dropped before the tournament starts in June.

The opportunistic timing of the "Cahilltex" campaign, whereby a number of petrol stations have been renamed in honour of the country's leading goalscorer to coincide with the Russian Federation tournament, triggered questions about the fairness of Cahill's selection.

"Obviously I'm in great nick because I pride myself on professionalism and being in the top 20 per cent fitness-wise".

"I've fought every barrier, every single week of my life as a footballer".

Despite this, he made the cut as coach Bert van Marwijk trimmed his squad to 26 players from 32, with Maclaren's omission the most controversial, having scored a hat-trick at the weekend for Hibs in their 5-5 draw with Rangers.

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Australia will gather for a training camp in Turkey before worldwide matches against Czech Republic (1 June) and Hungary (9 June).

However, FFA chief executive David Gallop told the media that Cahill was only picked because of his track record.

It leaves Cahill and Swiss-based Tomi Juric as the two recognised strikers in the squad, although the highly-rated and uncapped Daniel Arzani kept his place.

They also face Hungary in a warm-up match in Budapest on June 9 before heading to Russian Federation.

"Overall, I believe we have named a strong and ambitious squad for our training camp in Turkey and friendly against Czech Republic in Austria", van Marwijk said in a statement. Australia face France, Denmark and Peru in Group C at the June 14-July 15 finals.

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