Two World Cups, the first Australian to score at a World Cup, inaugural PFA Footballer of the Year and Oceania Player of the Year, since making his debut for the Socceroos in 2004 his contribution has been immense. Against Ecuador yet another honour was added to the already long list of Tim Cahill’s achievements whilst wearing the green and gold.

In the eighth minute of the 4-3 loss Cahill scored to become the Socceroos all-time leading scorer. To honour his achievement PFA President Simon Colosimo and PFA Vice President Ante Covic give their insights into why he has been so successful, what it was like to call him a teammate and his unwavering commitment to the National Team.

Q. How big of an impact has he had on Australian football?

AC: I think he is in the top three or four players Australia has produced, he has an aura about him. He is a player you always expect to pull something out, he has done it for a number of years in the Premier League and wherever he has gone. He is one of those players who has a knack of being in the right spot and his energy levels are fantastic and he is a true professional. He always seems to produce.

SC: He has had a massive impact, we were on the map but in terms of big game goals he has definitely delivered. He does it everywhere he goes. It is no surprise the amount of goals he has scored for the National Team.

Q. You have both played with Tim as part of the Socceroos, what were you first impressions of him?

AC: The first time I started getting called in was when GuusHiddink was the coach and I was in awe of a lot of the players. Tim was playing in the Premier League and recognised as a key player for Australia but he wasn’t really a starter with Hiddink, it probably surprised him but whenever he was called on he was always someone who would pick himself up from any situation. He showed his true colours every time he was called on and since then he has been the first one you would pick on the team sheet. Whatever his role, he has always been fantastic.

SC: I remember doing set pieces once at training and I was marking him and it just seemed like he was a magnet for the ball, and it didn’t matter what you did to stop him. He could just always read the flight of the ball, all over the pitch but especially in and around the box.

Q. What match stands out for you when you think about Tim as a Socceroo?

AC: His impact against Japan at the World Cup 2006 was huge. You knew with someone like Timmy you had a real weapon to come on who would give 110% and change the game and he did that. He totally changed that game, with his goals and he has carried on doing that since.

SC: A couple of weeks ago the 2006 World Cup documentary was on and they showed Tim’s two goals against Japan and I still got that tingle, especially when that one went in off the post. It was one thing qualifying for the World Cup but then the next thing was getting a result like that at the World Cup. I think that got the whole nation behind the game.

Q. Tim served as a PFA Executive Member how committed was he to ensuring the welfare of his fellow players and the progress of the game?

AC: The longer you play the game the more respect you have from your peers. He was always a confident person and believed in himself and always did the right things and grew into the role. He was hugely respected as a player and was always one to voice his opinion on where the game should and could move forward. He has a huge amount of respect from everyone in football and he has used that in a way that has improved the lives of his fellow players and wellbeing of the game.

SC: He was exactly like he was on the pitch – everything for the team. He would sacrifice himself for the team and he was like that as a PFA Executive. It was never about him today, it was ‘how do I help the game moving forward?’ How do ‘I help the next generation?’ He is still like this now. You see him helping out the younger players.

Q. What is Tim Cahill like as a teammate?

AC: The beauty of the Aussie National Team, when I was involved, it was one of the most enjoyable teams to be a part of. I think we have a culture where when someone comes into the squad they straightaway are welcomed into the team. Tim is one of the those people, who made it so easy and made you feel welcome and he is not a difficult person to have a chat with, he will never look down on anybody.

SC: He only ever wanted to play for Australia and that was evident from what he went through to be able to play for the Socceroos after having played for Samoa in his teens. He is like any of the greats who have played for Australia, he needs to win every training game, every drill, every shooting session, he needs to be number one at everything.

Q. What do you believe has been the key to his success?

AC: I think he has able to do everything. He does work extremely hard, he does look after himself, and he has a good football mind in terms of knowing the game and he is a leader. There is not one facet of his game that he does not worry about and he is great athlete. Look at the size of him and the amount of headers he has scored, he just has that knack of knowing where to be and that comes from being very driven and he works extremely hard on it.

SC: The commitment to win at everything he does is why he is so successful. He delivers in the big games and is a game changer. At the World Cup, where we are going to have to work extremely hard to get results, he will give everything no matter what role he is asked to play. If he is asked to come off the bench, play centre-half whatever it is he will always give 100 per cent.