Arzani and Nabbout back Cahill to star in Russia


Daniel Arzani and Andrew Nabbout believe Socceroos stalwart Tim Cahill has the ability and fitness to strike for Australia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Cahill, 38, is one of the oldest players in Russia, where he's gunning to join an elite group of three to have scored at four tournaments.

Without a club contract, the Socceroos' talisman could yet retire from the game or international football at tournament's end.

January's AFC Asian Cup defence looms as another potential jump-off point for the Socceroo legend.

Australia's record goal scorer comes into the tournament without form at club level with Millwall, having made only a string of cameo appearances for the English second-tier side.

Arzani, who might just have stolen Cahill's mantle as Australia's super-sub, said he owes plenty to Cahill.

"He helps me with a lot of stuff off the field - being a professional; being a better person," Arzani said.

"Everything what to do off the field, but also on the field, training.

"He has a great relationship with so many of the young boys. He gives back."

Arzani believes Cahill's fitness or ability to have an impact on the tournament cannot be questioned.

"You look at him now and he's 38-years-old and keeping up and, most of the time, smashing everyone physically," he said.

"He's an absolute beast."

Meanwhile, Nabbout, who's likely to start against France in Cahill's place, said the veteran will leave his mark.

"Everyone knows what he is going to do but you still can't stop him," he said.

"He's proven that time and time again, wherever he's gone all around the world.

"If there's ever a chance in the box, he's there ... anything that's in the air, you'd back him.

"He's a big-game player. He's scored five goals at previous World Cups. For him to be going on for that record to score at four-consecutive World Cups is huge.

"He's massive for us. We know that he's going to be there. regardless of whether he's on the pitch or off the pitch. He's going to have a massive influence on the team."

Nabbout said he "wouldn't put it past" Cahill to compete to attend the World Cup in 2022 as a 42-year-old, but conceded it was more likely his time in Australian football would finish sooner than in Qatar.

"You're losing a very, very big player. Timmy is a very big part of this team on and off the field," he said.

"I'm sure regardless of what happens, he will be around in some way, shape or form.

"It's going to be a huge loss for Australian football."

Source AAP