Tim Cahill: the first World Cup in Africa was one of the best because of the warmth of the people

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Former Australian star talks about her best memories from the world match

Former Australian and Everton forward Tim Cahill has expressed how the 2010 World Cup in South Africa holds a special place in his heart.

The first World Cup to be held in Africa, the meeting produced an exciting month of football, with Spain beating the Netherlands in an exciting final in front of 84,490 fans in Johannesburg.

The Australians, however, did not have the best of tournaments as they suffered first round elimination after a mixed bag of results, including a 1-1 draw on matchday two with Ghana.

“During my playing career, I was fortunate to represent Australia in four World Cups. Each tournament was special in its own way, but I will never forget South Africa in 2010,” Cahill, World Cup 2022 Ambassador, recounted in a personal characteristic looking forward to the next tournament in Qatar.

“Soccer is a truly global sport and as a player it was always inspiring to see the passion of the fans in different parts of the world.”

The Socceroos opened the competition with a disappointing 4-0 loss to Germany.

In the final group match, Cahill was on the score sheet as his team recorded a 2-1 win over Serbia, but the victory was not enough to secure passage to the next round.

“On the pitch, the tournament didn’t go exactly the way we wanted to, as we didn’t make it past the group stage and I was sent off against Germany in the opening match, but on a personal basis, I was proud to score a header against Serbia in a win. 2-1 in our last match of the group stage, “said the 41-year-old.

“Off the pitch, the tournament was tremendously exciting as it was the first World Cup to be held in Africa and an incredible opportunity to play in a new part of the world.

“Before going to South Africa in 2010 there was a lot of talk about safety and how it was a risk, but for me and my family it was one of the best World Cups because of the warmth of the people and the incredible opportunities to enjoy.” new experiences off the field, such as visiting safari parks.

“It was an incredible celebration of football and set an important precedent for the future of the competition by hosting it in new territory.”

Cahill, who also participated in the 2006, 2014 and 2018 World Cup tournaments, made more than 100 appearances and scored around 50 goals for Australia.


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