Vitoria: Australia veteran Tim Cahill told his young, untested teammates on Wednesday to cast aside any lingering pre-World Cup jitters and go out and enjoy the experience of locking horns with Chile in their World Cup opener.
Australia's striker Tim Cahill (right) and his teammates go through their stretching exercises
Only by leaving their nerves behind in the dressing room today, the former Everton star believes, will the Socceroos have a shot at claiming what would be one almighty Group B scalp.
"You've got to be fearless, that way things happen in games," his country's all-time top scorer told a press conference in Vitoria before travelling to Cuiaba for the date with the South Americans.
"In 2006 I scored two goals in the World Cup (against Japan), I was fearless... hopefully it'll be the same for some of these lads," he said.
Under new coach Ange Postecoglou, Australia have undergone a major rejuvenation, with Cahill one of the last survivors of the Aussies' "golden generation" including Harry Kewell, Mark Schwarzer and Mark Viduka.
Cahill, who went from the highs of Germany in 2006 to the depths of 2010 when he was controversially red carded in the first game, suggested it would be dangerous to regard Chile as a team solely based around world class duo Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez.
"We're focusing on others apart from Vidal and Sanchez, two players don't make up a team, Chile has a lot of great players.
"But Sanchez, he plays for one of the biggest teams in the world, he's an exceptional player who loves to come to the ball and get involved in play but at the same time he gets involved in goals. I admire him as a footballer, he can win games from the smallest situations."