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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Tim Cahill exits Melbourne City, eyes new club ahead of 2018 World Cup

Australian star striker Tim Cahill has decided to depart Melbourne City effective immediately.
Check out some of Tim Cahill's stats with Melbourne City to see whether or not his stint was worthwhile for the club.
Tim Cahill talks the importance of Mile Jedinak to Australia despite his countless injuries.
Jason Dasey and Gary Phillips assess what Australia must improve upon ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Melbourne City announced the immediate departure of Australia forward Tim Cahill from the A-League club on Wednesday, which is his 38th birthday.

Cahill, who has had a reportedly fracturous relationship with new head coach Warren Joyce, leaves the 2016 FFA Cup winners just seven months before next year's World Cup, and midway through a three-year contract.

The Socceroos' record scorer with 50 goals announced the news on his Instagram page without any hint of where his next club might be.

"I want to thank Melbourne City, the players and the staff, and especially the fans. It was amazing to help bring the first piece of silverware to this Club, and this makes me very proud," Cahill said.

"Playing in the domestic league in Australia was always an important career goal for me, and my experience here has been fulfilling from start to finish. The welcome from fans, the quality of the facilities and the ever-increasing quality of football continues to be a source of immense pride.

"Qualifying for the World Cup has been a great adventure, and it would be a massive honour to represent my country in Russia. That will be my focus in the coming months."

Media Release Tim Cahill to depart Melbourne City FC Melbourne City FC and Tim Cahill have mutually agreed that Cahill will depart the Club, effective immediately. Cahill signed with Melbourne City in August 2016 and scored in his debut league match against Melbourne Victory, a half-volley from 35 metres away that was later awarded 'A-League Goal of the Year 2016-17'. He went on to score another 12 goals for the Club in all competitions, famously netting the winning goal in the November 2016 Westfield FFA Cup Final. Commenting on Cahill's time with Melbourne City, CEO Scott Munn said: "Tim has been part of Melbourne City during a significant period in its history, scoring the winning goal in the FFA Cup Final and contributing 13 goals in his first season in the A-League. "We are grateful for his professionalism, leadership and mentorship of the playing group, particularly the younger players, to whom he has been a great source of inspiration and learning. "Everyone at Melbourne City wishes Tim the best of luck for the future, and thanks him for his contribution to the Club and to the Australian game." Tim Cahill said: "Playing in the domestic league in Australia was always an important career goal for me, and my experience here has been fulfilling from start to finish. The welcome from fans, the quality of the facilities and the ever-increasing quality of football continues to be a source of immense pride. "I want to thank Melbourne City, the players and the staff, and especially the fans. It was amazing to help bring the first piece of silverware to this Club, and this makes me very proud. My experience here has been great and I have enjoyed contributing to the culture inside the Club, being asked to take on a leadership role and, most importantly, being able to mentor a lot of the younger players - something I will continue to do in the future. I wish the Club, Head Coach, players and all the fans all the very best for the rest of the season. It's never easy to say goodbye but it was great to win last weekend and make a contribution, and also to have the Club sitting third in the league.

A post shared by Tim Cahill (@tim_cahill) on

Melbourne City CEO Scott Munn praised Cahill on his professionalism and leadership.

"We are grateful for his professionalism, leadership and mentorship of the playing group, particularly the younger players, to whom he has been a great source of inspiration and learning," Munn said.

"Everyone at Melbourne City wishes Tim the best of luck for the future, and thanks him for his contribution to the Club and to the Australian game."

Cahill joined Melbourne City in Aug. 2016, having left struggling Chinese Super League club Hangzhou Greentown a month earlier. Last month, Melbourne City boss Joyce denied that there was any rift with Cahill, saying he had "no problem" with him.

Cahill sent his best wishes to Joyce in his parting message on Instagram.

"I wish the Club, Head Coach, players and all the fans all the very best for the rest of the season. It's never easy to say goodbye but it was great to win last weekend and make a contribution, and also to have the Club sitting third in the league," he said.

Cahill is perhaps best known for his eight years with Everton in the Premier League where he scored 68 goals in 278 appearances in all competitions.

For the Socceroos, Cahill has netted 50 times in 104 appearances and scored both goals as Australia defeated Syria 2-1 in an AFC World Cup playoff in his hometown of Sydney on Oct. 10.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.

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