Tim Cahill’s jaw-dropping volley against the Netherlands at this summer’s World Cup may not have won the game for Australia, but it certainly took home the award for best goal in most people’s minds.
Receiving a 35-yard cross from teammate Ryan McGowan over his right shoulder, Cahill connected cleanly with his left foot, blasting a sublime shot that flew past Dutch keeper Jasper Cillessen, kissed the underside of the crossbar and caromed into the net. Even Brazil’s Ronaldo quickly labeled it one of the most beautiful goals in World Cup history.
So with the MLS Playoffs set to start next week—Cahill’s New York Red Bulls have already clinched a berth—we asked the Australian legend and former Everton man about his wonder strike in Brazil.
“The best thing was I created a little bit of history for Australia. And that goal will never be forgotten.”
Your goal against the Netherlands this summer was pretty spectacular. Is that the best goal of your career?
It’s definitely up there. As a kid, you dream of just playing in a World Cup. But to do that against Holland, we’re one-nil down, biggest stage in the world in Brazil, I’ll never forget it.
Did it surprise you at all how sweetly you struck it?
It is what it is, you know? You have a shot at a target, and you win some, you lose some. But that was my fifth World Cup goal so, you know, when you go out there to play, you think of scoring. It went in and I was just so happy for it.
Did you tell yourself anything before you hit it? Because the pass was in the air for a while.
I know. Everyone was expecting me to head it, but my left foot’s not too bad, so I’ll take it.
After you scored, you were mobbed by your teammates. Did any of them say anything to you that you still remember?
I was in a blur, but the best thing was, you know, I created a little bit of history for Australia. And that goal will never be forgotten.
How disappointed were you that you ended up losing that game, 3-2?
That’s life, you know. We learned a lot from the game, we learned a lot as players and as a team. We had a young team. But overall, this is the way we learn and we move forward.
What’s your advice to young strikers out there?
If you don’t shoot, you’re not going to score. So always have a shot at the target. You never know what could happen.