When Juventus ironman Alessandro Del Piero famously snubbed the likes of Liverpool to sign for Sydney FC of Australia's tenderfoot A-League in 2012, the reverberations across world football were very, very real. It was, far and away, the biggest and most consequential signing in the league's brief history.
Until this week, of course, when this happened:
MELBOURNE HERE I COME ⚽️ @MelbourneCity @ManCity @NYCFC its been nearly 20 years away from Australia #Together pic.twitter.com/e0qaXASKJ0— TIM CAHILL (@Tim_Cahill) August 10, 2016
Folks, Tim Cahill is Australian. He's transferring to an Australian club for a record sum. He's also one of the biggest stars ever to suit up for the New York Red Bulls.
And he just completed his medical here in the concrete jungle at NYCFC headquarters, took a beaming selfie with NYCFC's marquee stars, and has been shouting out all three CFG-affiliated Twitter accounts like mad all week.
I can not wait to see how this goes over in the red part of town. https://t.co/zFlxsuyfyV— Dan Dickinson (@GothamistDan) August 10, 2016
Doesn't Cahill look really happy in that now-infamous selfie? Think about that.
And isn't it true that Cahill rarely wore such an expression during his problematic tenure with MLS's New Jersey side, especially after it took a turn for the worse over the course of 2014? Think about that, too.
Let's be clear-- I don't believe that any aspect of the Cahill-to-City story is meant to be some kind of overt middle finger to the Red Bull family. There's no evidence to suggest such a thing. In fact, the message City Football Group is sending to Red Bull stabs much deeper than the common sniping endemic to sporting rivalries.
The message is this:
- This is our world.
- You have no choice other than to live in it.
- Whatever you have done or will do is utterly irrelevant to what we're building.
GINSBERG: I feel bad for you.DRAPER: I don't think about you at all.
Welcome to the City Family @Tim_Cahill! I look forward to seeing you on the pitch for @MelbourneCity pic.twitter.com/K8dyJ73vuK— Patrick Vieira (@OfficialVieira) August 10, 2016