The Socceroos legend helped Melbourne City lift the first trophy in the club’s history last night, triumphing 1-0 in the FFA Cup final thanks to his 53rd minute goal.
Cahill revealed after the match the surprising motivation that preceded his header: Sydney FC’s fans.
The regular song that has greeted Cahill around the league has been “you’re only here for the money”, and the strong travelling Sydney FC fanbase gave it an airing last night.
As he shaped to contest the decisive header, the all-time leading Socceroos scorer said their jeers rang in his ears.
“Just beforehand – for no reason – the fans were singing about me. It plays and plays in your head all the time when the fans sing negative stuff towards you,” he said.
“I thought, ‘this is my chance’. When it hit my head – it’s the story of my life.
“It was slow motion. When it hit the back of the net, it was pretty special.
“That’s why I play. I play for moments like that.”
For two decades, Cahill has forged a club career across three continents and has played at three World Cups for Australia.
But he’s had surprisingly little club success – making it easy to understand why he said the result “was up there with some of the proudest moments of my career”.
“This is nice because it’s in Australia,” he said.
“I’m here to add some proper value to this league and bring a bit of the fire.
“I said I was going to give it everything regardless of what some people were saying about my age, about my body.”
The 36-year-old was hobbling around following full-time after a crunching tackle required his substitution.
Sydney FC’s Josh Brillante came clattering into Cahill, who appeared to hyperextend his knee.
Cahill said he was “pretty sore” at the time but vowed to contend for Saturday night’s match against Brisbane Roar.
“He sort of pushed through me… my ankle went and then my knee,” he said.
“I think I’ll be alright.
“The knee’s sore but I’ll patch myself up and try and go again on the weekend.”
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