(Reuters) – Tim Cahill will come out of international retirement for a farewell match in his honour when Australia take on Lebanon in a home friendly in November.
The 38-year-old called time on his international career after playing at his fourth World Cup in Russia but will put on the green and gold jersey one last time, Football Federation Australia said on Tuesday.
“Tim’s contribution to football and the Socceroos especially over the past 14 years has been immense,” FFACEO David Gallop said in a media release.
“When Tim made the decision to retire from international football we swiftly began discussions internally, and with him and his management team, regarding how FFA could provide Tim with an appropriate send-off on home soil.
“We feel that there is no better way to honour Tim’s contribution to the game than by giving him the opportunity to hear the roar of the crowd as he plays in his backyard of Sydney one last time.”
The former Millwall and Everton forward netted 50 goals in 107 internationals, including five at World Cups, to bow out as Australia’s most prolific goal-scorer.
Widely regarded as the country’s finest ever player, Cahill struggled for playing time in the run-up to the World Cup and was confined to only one appearance off the bench in Russia in the Socceroos’ final group match against Peru.
“I am truly humbled to have the opportunity to take part in this farewell game, and really appreciate the FFA and Arnie (coach Graham Arnold) giving me the chance to put on the Socceroos jersey on last time,” said Cahill.
“It’s going to be incredibly special to represent my country for the final time and I can’t wait to say thank you to all the fans who have supported me throughout my career.”
Australia face Lebanon at Sydney’s Olympic Park on Nov. 20.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford)