Tim Cahill is a perfect example of an Australian legend (©GettyImages)
Tim Cahill is a perfect example of an Australian legend (©GettyImages).

Australian football on the decline?

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While football is the most represented sport in Europe and South America, countries like Australia and the United States prefer alternatives such as baseball and cricket.

This is why athletes from that part of the world don't dedicate their time to playing the most popular sport in the world by and large.  It was April 11 2001 when Australia completed the biggest win in the history of their national team. However most of the fans found it ridiculous, because the score of 32-0 against American Samoa looked like a score of a children's game.

Lots of players from this supposed 'golden generation' are now retired.

Mark Vikuda, Australian captain in the 2006 World Cup, was one of them. This exceptional player was a part of Newcastle United six years ago, playing alongside Michael Owen and Obafemi Martins in the St. James' Park frontline. In his career, he scored a total of 219 goals in 418 club matches, making it approximately one goal in every second match. 

Meanwhile the still active 34-year-old Tim Cahill is a real star of the MLS. The top scorer of his national side ever with 31 goals, he has performed for only three clubs in his career. He's most known for his period at Everton, where he showcased exceptional goalscoring skills which resulted in his nomination for the Ballon D'or in 2006 - he was the first Evertonian to be nominated in 18 years.

Nowadays, he is an unavoidable member for his side, the New York Red Bulls. Other Aussies like Mark Bresciano, Brett Emerton and Mark Schwarzer were also part of an truly outstanding national team once. 

Today, after successful qualification for the World Cup, lots of Australian fans are pessimistic ahead of the competition in Brazil. Most of the big football names Down Under are now retired and just a few have shown real quality for the national team in the last couple of years. Players which are most likely to lead Australia at the tournament are the likes of Robbie Kruse, Mile Jedinak and Brett Holman. 

How will they paper over the definite cracks that Viduka and co. have left behind?

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