Sochi (Russia) (AFP) – Socceroos veteran Tim Cahill says the time is right for Australia to shock inexperienced Germany on Monday and prove themselves at the Confederations Cup.
The ex-Everton midfielder, 37, is just three short of winning his 100th cap — a milestone he could reach in the three Group B games against Germany, Cameroon and Chile.
Cahill, who scored one of the best goals at the 2014 World Cup finals with a cracking volley against the Dutch, could also break the 50-goal mark for Australia in Russia.
Despite the Socceroos’ 4-0 thumping by Brazil in last week’s friendly, Cahill sees this Confed Cup as Australia’s great chance to build on their 2015 Asian Cup win – starting with the Germans in Monday’s Group B match in Sochi.
“The belief for me comes from over a decade with the Socceroos,” he said.
“As one of the elder statesman, I’ve seen it — three World Cups, three Asian Cups, second time at the Confederations Cup.
“In the last two and a half years with this group, I’ve seen up to 60 players buy into a philosophy.
“We’ve gone onto the world stage and competed, not just going there and being physical.
“The last World Cup in Brazil, we outplayed some of the best teams in the world for long stretches.
“Yes, we didn’t win the games, but we evolved to the Asian Cup where we won it, a competition we weren’t supposed to win.
“Tomorrow is a big game for them as much as us, they’ll need the points just as badly,” added Cahill, who now plays for Melbourne City in the A-League.
Germany’s head coach Joachim Loew has left all of his stars at home and Paris St-Germain’s attacking midfielder Julian Draxler will captain the world champions.
Cahill says this is a great opportunity for Australia to beat the Germans for the first time at a major tournament.
“I know there is the thought of them coming in as underdogs, but Draxler is no small name,” said Cahill.
“They know they have to produce. If we play the style (that) we know, we can definitely beat them.”
With an average age of just 24 years, four months, and a combined total of 179 international appearances, Germany have the most youthful squad of the eight Confed Cup teams.
However, Socceroos head coach Ange Postecoglou refuses to believe the Germans can be considered as inexperienced underdogs.
“Let’s dispell one myth — when the teams walk out tomorrow, if I had to guess, I reckon we’d be younger,” he said.
“I don’t buy into any of that stuff.
“It’s a great opening game for us, against the world champions, who want to want to win the World Cup next year.
“They have faultless during their qualifying.
“It’s a great test for us, but I am not buying into the idea we are playing a weakened team — I think that’s a bit of a myth.
“Do the maths. Look at their starting line-up and ours before kick-off.”
Being on the verge of 100 caps and 50 goals, Cahill can make history at this Confed Cup — whether he starts or not against Germany.
“It’s about contributing to the squad whether you start, come off the bench or don’t even play,” said Cahill.
“Being able to have the chance to get to either mark would be a massive honour in my career, but I would prefer to take success in this competition.”