Socceroo Cahill lauded by Brazil fans

Rio de Janeiro, June 20 (IANS): It is akin to the English raiding Costa Rica for black tea, or the Italians poaching pasta recipes from Nigeria.

But Brazilians were only half-joking when they took to social media networks to express their desire for a striker from Australia in their national team, reports Xinhua.

The clamour was prompted by Tim Cahill's stunning left-footed volley against the Netherlands in Porto Alegre that is an early contender for goal of the 2014 World Cup. The wonder strike came amid growing criticism in Brazil of the host team's central strikers.

Luiz Felipe Scolari's first-choice target man, Fred, has netted just one international goal - in a World Cup warm up match against Serbia - since the Confederations Cup last June. His backup, former Manchester City forward Jo, is yet to score for his club Atletico Mineiro in 2014.

"Can we put (Cahill) in the Brazil team instead of Fred? Both play in a yellow shirt," said Twitter user Tapero_sky.

Another fan, Luizoero, said Cahill had already outshone Brazil's center forwards.

"Well done Cahill. You are the only attacker wearing yellow that will score a goal like that in this World Cup, because if it depended on Fred or Jo..."

Cahill began his career as a central midfielder but has reinvented himself as a second striker since joining the New York Red Bulls in 2012.

The Sydney-born Socceroo has always shown a penchant for scoring. He averaged almost a goal every four matches during his eight-year spell at Goodison Park.

But it is football's biggest stage where his attacking instincts have been most evident.

Cahill has now scored at each of the past three World Cups. His haul of five goals from nine World Cup matches is exactly half of Australia's overall goal tally at football's premier event.

Brazilian fans were quick to point out the incongruity of Cahill's achievements.

"Even in 100 years we will never see another Australian score a goal like that," luizlopesRN said on Twitter after the Netherlands came from behind to beat the Socceroos 3-2 at the Beira-Rio stadium.

Cahill's swelling legion of fans in Brazil have been left disappointed by his suspension for Australia's final group match against Spain following a second yellow card.

At 34, Cahill has likely played his last World Cup match. But for some Brazilians, the Australian's place among the tournament's greats is already assured.

"He has five goals playing in the World Cup for Australia," noted NoticiasCRF. "Tim Cahill can already be considered a legend, can he not?"


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