Tim Cahill and Mark Milligan join the small and select club of football players who have made four World Cup sides, joining the likes of Ronaldo, Cafu and Pele.
Well and good and all props to Cahill and Milligan, but so long as it requires two names to identify them, they will never be in the same league as the others.
Just three players can claim five World Cup appearances and all three of those went by two names, so perhaps our one-name criterion is lacking true gravitas, although we have to say that sticking around a long time is not any sort of measure of greatness, as Cahill and Milligan have done more for Australian football that can be easily counted.
There might need to be an asterisk alongside Milligan’s name. He did not get on during 2006 as an uncapped 21-year-old from Sydney FC. That is not so much a story as is the fact that in three previous selections, Milligan has played a total of 90 minutes of World Cup football.
Cahill turned out to be a case of being in the right place at the right time. He was on the 2006 squad with Milligan that represented the first time in over three decades that the Australiansqualified for the World Cup tournament.
He has scored five goals over his stint and that is truly in a league of its own. Should he score in FIFA 2018, he will become the fourth player in the history of the competition to notch five goals.
That is a far more impressive figure than hanging around for a long time.
The group to score five goals in World Cup football is Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose.
As for players to make four World Cup appearances, well, some of them are from the U.S., where despite football’s growth, have yet to field a successful men’s side.