He spent more time on the ground after his final international appearance than during it, and then Tim Cahill reflected on how hard it was just to get his Socceroos career off the ground.
Cahill's 108-cap career came to an end on Tuesday when he played around 10 minutes off the bench in the 3-0 win over Lebanon in Sydney.
He then spent over two hours posing for photographs and signing autographs before leaving the field around midnight.
Cahill's first international representation was for Samoa not Australia.
Because he played briefly for Samoa at under-20s level, world governing body FIFA initially ruled Cahill ineligible to represent Australia when he was called up by then Socceroos coach Frank Farina.
FIFA eventually changed the rules, allowing players who were capped at junior level by one country to represent another nation at senior level.
"It was tough for me to play for Australia at the start," Cahill told the ANZ Stadium crowd after the game.
"But I tell you what, every time I wore the green and gold I played with my heart and I never left anything on the pitch."
He was later asked by the media about the the struggle to represent Australia as he took a few questions while still out on the ground.
"Of course I think about it, but I've not looked back," Cahill said.
"I've attacked every single moment and when I've put on that jersey you have seen it.
"You can go through every single game, it doesn't matter whether it was Bangladesh away, Netherlands in the World Cup, Germany when I got my red card.
"I've learnt more from the downs in my international career than I have with the ups."
While the media rallied behind Cahill's quest to represent Australia, they haven't always enjoyed a cosy relationship with the 38-year-old.
"We've got to be honest, we've tested each other," Cahill said.
"I've played my whole life like a chessboard. No one has known any single move, other than my last one going back to Millwall.
"I've always been really protective and methodical because that's my domain, what I do on the pitch I own that."
"Off the pitch you (the media) own that, but it didn't dictate who I was or who I am."
Cahill will now resume his stint with Indian Super League club Jamshedpur.