Tim Cahill has reiterated his desire to represent Australia at the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil at the age of 34.
Everton midfielder Cahill needs little motivation after disappointing in South Africa last year. The midfielder saw red in Australia's 4-0 lashing at the hands of Germany, missed the Ghana game due to suspension and only got off the mark in the Socceroos' swansong against Serbia.
Cahill returned to the national side in time for the AFC Asian Cup in January, playing through an ankle injury as Australia fell short of their first-ever trophy in the final against Japan. His commitment to the Socceroos has caused friction at Goodison Park and David Moyes was an outspoken critic of Cahill's desire to play in the Asian Cup. The Scot proved correct in his fears as the Australian returned to England nursing a foot injury that has limited his playing time since.
However, despite the wear and tear national duty has exacted on his body, Cahill is determined to make it to the 2014 finals should the Socceroos qualify - although he admits he hopes to be fighting for his place against an improving younger generation of Australian footballers.
I never say no to my country... It's simple - if I'm fit then I'm there, if I'm selected then I'm there.
"Everyone knows me already - if I'm fit then I'm there. End of (story)," he told The World Game. "I never say no to my country. It's one of those questions that I get asked every year, after every Australia game. It's simple - if I'm fit then I'm there, if I'm selected then I'm there. Hopefully by that time there'll be some great youngsters that are pushing us out of the team and going on and doing greater things. But if I'm selected then I'll 100 per cent be there."
In the meantime, however, Cahill has admitted he needs a break to heal his nagging foot complaint before the next Premier League season. Australian football officials are hopeful of scheduling in friendly ties against Serbia and possibly New Zealand in June, but Cahill has intimated he will take no part in the fixtures.
"I've played seven years (with) no rest in the summer, probably more," he said. "I wouldn't change it for the world. I've got a foot problem but I'm buzzing. I love football and I love playing for my country.
"But also I think common sense has to prevail. I missed the Germany game and I'll probably miss the next couple of games because they're friendlies. For me, when it's competition and it's something where I'm going to win something or get something out of it, then I'll be back playing. But at the moment now my main focal point is the Premier League and obviously doing well for my club."
Moyes has spoken out in favour of Cahill's withdrawal from Australia's friendly schedule, saying he felt Cahill would be better served concentrating on his club duties for the time being.