Tim Cahill on family and fashion.
Soccer in the UK has produced flashy couples like Posh and Becks and Wayne and Coleen Rooney. You played for Everton for almost a decade – how did you and your wife Rebekah keep it low-key? The focus is on the sport. I let my football do the talking. I respect my wife’s decision to do – or not do – as much as she wants. It’s a simple life and we like it like that. You two met at Kingsgrove North High School and now have four children, Kyah (13), Shae (11), Sienna (nine) and Cruz (four). What is your best relationship advice? Making sure that you make time for yourselves as a couple and really appreciating what mums do. You can just imagine what it is like with four kids – from breakfast to the school run, getting them ready is hectic. Then it starts all over again with picking them up from school. Homework. Bath time. For me, it is appreciation for what women do as mothers. You don’t get it at the start, but after the first baby it sinks in. There are a few reality checks when Mummy goes out with the girls… What sort of dad are you? I am very hands-on. My main thing is to teach my kids to be respectful and grateful. I want to make sure they are brought up – regardless of our lifestyle – the same way my parents brought me up. How do you balance fatherhood with globetrotting? You’ve got to put family first. When I play in big tournaments, the kids and my wife come with me. When I am representing the Socceroos at the World Cup, I’ll take an entourage of 15 to 20 people. I also like having my parents there, because they love being with their grandchildren. Your dad once said, “You can’t live in a car,” but that didn’t stop you from buying a black Lamborghini. What made you do it? My first goal was always to be financially stable. It’s about making the right financial choices for my kids, my family, my parents. You’ve got to own a house, have no debt and then you can enjoy the fruits of [your success]. Is it still parked in your garage? Nah, the car is gone. It was just a toy at the time. I suppose you grow out of cars. What are you driving now? A Nissan. I am pretty happy with that. You once said, “Everything else that comes with [football] is fake. Money, contracts, newspaper headlines… but you can’t get yourself mauled up in that bubble, because that’s what breaks players and athletes mentally.” How have you kept sane? I grew up with a Samoan background and you can never forget your roots. If you are not consistently doing well in football – scoring goals and winning at a high level – it can all be taken away in a second. Big contracts only come when you are producing the goods. I hear you are a One Direction fan. What is the connection between you and Niall Horan? Niall is a big
“I appreciate what women do as mothers. There are a few reality checks when Mummy goes out”
soccer fan. We were sending each other messages and he said, “Come to a show.” He was playing in Sydney and my kids are big fans, so we went and met them [backstage] beforehand. I signed a Socceroos top for Niall and for the last song he came out wearing it. Did that win you brownie points? The reaction of my kids… Oh, I was buzzing. My daughter Sienna was excitedly saying, “Dad, that is your top!” Niall went above and beyond to make them feel special. What other play dates do you get up to? When we are in New York [the Cahills have a family home there] it’s barbecuing, playing football in the basement on our pitch. We are a very active family. You’ll see a lot on Instagram. When we put Sienna and Cruz to bed, me and the older boys also play FIFA [on Xbox]. You’ve said that living in New York gave you exposure to the fashion industry. How did it influence your label Cahill+? You are exposed to many designers, lots of events and fashion shows. The other main thing was my relationship with Giorgio Armani over the years. Flying around the world and experiencing that style of fashion from someone I really admire was great. I love football. It is something I am very passionate about, but fashion also comes with it. You want to look good, play good and feel good. Cahill+ made its debut at New York Fashion Week in February this year – how did it compare to playing in a World Cup? For me, it was excitement. Are people going to like it? Is it going to do well? I think the whole basis of it is preparation and being able to attack it. How into fashion were you as a kid growing up in Western Sydney? I did like fashion, but it was anything your parents bought you and you made the most of the outfits. [The passion] grew with me learning about brands as a footballer. I was introduced to Jimmy Choo shoes, Louboutins for men, Balenciaga and Alexander Wang, who I am massively inspired by. What goals do you want to score with Cahill+? In Australia it is firstly about placement. It’s very difficult joining the set-up of major retailers, but in only a short space of time and being a footballer, I have achieved a lot. We are now in Myer, Culture Kings, Glue Store, Topman and The Iconic. I take it bit by bit. I don’t get too carried away.
``I love football, but fashion also comes with it. you want to look good´´