Players trapped in the club-versus-country row often tend to side with their clubs rather than with their countries. But the Australian duo, Lucas Neill and Tim Cahill, are not following that rule. Sky Sports reports that the players are very much commited to playing for their motherland even if that implies inviting the wrath of their respective clubs.
Neill plays for the English Premier League club West Ham United and Cahill for fellow Premiership rivals Everton. Yet the players are at one when it comes to deciding whom they would choose when a conflict of interests crop up. Australia played Qatar on Wednesday in a 2010 World Cup qualifier and play China on March 26.
Lucas Neill says:
People will say ‘why would you want to go and play for Australia in the middle of two English Premier League games?’ (I say) Because I’m playing for Australia and I want to go to the World Cup. t’s an honour, it’s a privilege and I’m sure there are millions and millions of others who would want to be doing what we are doing. I’m not taking it for granted. If it was him (Curbishley) going to represent England he wouldn’t have an argument and that’s the only case we have to put forward to him.
Tim Cahill says:
I have to play well for Everton and I have to play well for Australia. Fifty thousand people came to see the boys play (Qatar) and they deserve that. Even before I got here I was reading things that I was injured and that I wasn’t coming and wasn’t going on the plane. But I was still going to get on the plane injured or not injured, just to be part of the squad, so we are just showing our commitment and it’s great to have got three points.
Neill and Cahill are not the best players in the world but they are certainly few of those noblemen who value the chance to play for their nations.