Everton icon Tim Cahill has revealed how he saw dislike from Liverpool fans as a compliment to his abilities.
Cahill spent eight years with the Toffees, making 277 appearances for the club and scoring 68 goals during his time at Goodison Park.
He was particularly proficient in the Merseyside derby, scoring five goals in 15 games against Everton’s fierce rivals over the years.
This made him public enemy number one at Merseyside, with Liverpool fans very much sick of the sight of the Australian during his time in Blue.
It was a sentiment they readily shared when the two sides met, but he insists it acted as nothing but motivation.
“I enjoyed playing against our main rival at Anfield,” he told Championat.
“Full stadium, everyone is singing, you go out on the field – Wow! I scored a lot of goals against Liverpool, and I took their whistles, fists and curses as recognition, as a compliment.
“In Liverpool, you are either red or blue, so sometimes I was even refused at gas stations – sometimes they didn’t want to refuel my car.
“In England, everything revolves around football, even during the pandemic, much was said on television only about the Premier League.”
Cahill retired in 2019 after a short spell with Indian side Jamshedpur FC, bringing an end to a 20-year-career that had started with Sydney Utd U19s.
Like many former pros, he’s since moved into the coaching side of things and spent six months with Everton Under 16 side last year.
He’s also been doing punditry work but has insisted he will be returning to the coaching side of things and has revealed he spent some time watching Carlo Ancelotti at Everton recently.
“Actually, for fun, I stopped watching football a couple of years ago after retiring, but now, when I work as a coach in Qatar, games are almost always on,” he added.
“Premier League and especially Everton. I watch and analyse matches from a different angle, in more detail.
“Moreover, I spent the whole of February with the team, watching the training of Carlo Ancelotti: how he works, how he divides functions between the coaches.”
“In general, I am a very emotional fan: I get upset after defeats and glow when Everton wins or plays such matches.
“I don’t have a club scarf; I don’t need it, everyone already knows that I have been playing in the club for ten years! But the children cheer for the team in uniforms.”