Tim Cahill may have just led Australia to Asian Cup glory on home soil and signed a lucrative new deal to play in China, but the Socceroos star doesn’t mind being in the minority when it comes to a controversial future World Cup.
Shanghai Shenhua’s new $9.6 million acquisition is fully behind Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup, especially if it one day helps Australia host a major tournament of its own and even if many others don’t share the same opinion.
“I’m a massive fan of Qatar and Dubai,” Cahill told the AAP at a New Balance function on Thursday.
“I travelled there every year when I was in the Premier League to get a rehab … or just to rest.
“I don’t know the politics behind it and the things that go on in the country.
“I’m going off personal experiences, the way we were treated as Australians when we played in Qatar.”
Qatar’s World Cup bid has come under fire in recent months amid corruption allegations, culminating in unfounded claims it would lose host national status back in November.
“Definitely don’t discriminate against countries when it comes to having a go at a World Cup because Australia would want to have a go at it as well,” Cahill added.
Cahill is coming off his first real exposure in front of home crowds over an extended period following a successful overseas career and was thrilled by the support the Socceroos received during their Asian Cup winning campaign, but his future with the national team remains undecided.
Coach Ange Postecoglou has been vocal in the past about his side playing club football at the highest level and Cahill may have jeopardised his position, should he choose to play on, after settling for a less competitive league while Premier League and La Liga options were reportedly available.
“I spoke to Ange the morning of my announcement and he was very supportive of me as a footballer both domestically and internationally,” Cahill said this week.
“You get picked on merit for your performances and consistency for your club.
“Overall, we’ve got a great relationship as player and manager and it’s one of those where we’ll definitely be speaking a lot in to the start of pre-season for me which is coming up soon in China and then the development of the season when it starts and then when the games come in.
“I think it’s definitely going to have a lot of verbal activity (between us) to see how physically things go. I love playing for my country and for me I’ll always be there when the boss calls me.”
Photo: Matt King/Getty Images.