Now established as Australia's key player, Cahill's career remains on the up as he heads for his second World Cup.
After scoring Australia's first-ever finals goal in their run to the last 16 four years ago, Cahill is one of the Socceroos' main goal threats despite operating mainly from his favourite midfield position.
The 30-year-old was unable to make his Australia debut until 2004 having played youth football for Samoa. But he has made up for lost time with a string of important goals for the side.
The all-action midfielder is well known to English fans after a fine Premier League career with Everton, and must rank among the league's greatest bargain buys after moving to Goodison from Millwall for just £1.5million back in 2004.
He's racked up over 50 goals in 200-plus appearances for Everton and his international strike rate is even better, with 19 goals in his first 38 caps.
In a side short of genuine goalscoring threat with no Mark Viduka leading the line this time around, Cahill surely has a major role to play if the Socceroos are to match or better their 2006 performance.