Mark Milligan and Tim Cahill of Australia
Mark Milligan and Tim Cahill of Australia

Roos star equals Pele, Maradona after just 90 WC mins

THE World Cup is football's pinnacle.

To even attend one edition of the world's premier tournament is considered a privilege, but some are lucky enough to represent their country on multiple occasions.

Atop the pantheon of returning World Cup stars sits German legend Lothar Matthaus, Mexican Antonio Carbajal and evergreen Italian Gianluigi Buffon - each has been to an incredible five iterations of the World Cup.

In the tier below them, 48 players have been lucky enough to ply their trade at four World Cups, and in Russia, a pair of Australians will add their names to that prestigious list.

 

Socceroos players Tim Cahill (centre) and Mark Milligan arrive for a press conference
Socceroos players Tim Cahill (centre) and Mark Milligan arrive for a press conference

 

A group that boasts names such as Xavi Hernandez, Thierry Henry, Fabio Cannavarro, Oliver Kahn, Ronaldo, Cafu, Diego Maradona, Bobby Charlton and Pele.

But in 2018, Tim Cahill and Mark Milligan become the first Aussies ever to make four World Cup squads.

Milligan didn't see any action in 2006, after being included as an uncapped 21-year-old then at Sydney FC, but has since become a key member of the Socceroos amassing 70 caps for his country.

Incredibly, the versatile midfielder cum defender has played just 90 minutes to date at the World Cup, with his only game time coming in 2014 against Chile despite having attended the tournament three times.

His story couldn't be more different from Cahill's, with Australia's greatest ever goal scorer having played in eight of the nation's 10 matches since breaking a 32-year drought to return to the tournament in 2006.

Cahill has scored five World Cup goals to date, and should he add to that tally in Russia, he'll become just the fourth player in history to do so.

Only Brazil's Pele, West Germany's Uwe Seeler (both 1958, 1962, 1966 and 1970) and Germany's Miroslav Klose (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014) have achieved the feat.

THE FULL LIST OF PLAYERS TO MAKE FOUR OR MORE WORLD CUPS:

5: Antonio Carbajal (Mexico), Lothar Matthäus (Germany), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)

4 Carlos José Castilho (Brazil), Nílton Santos (Brazil), Djalma Santos (Brazil), Pelé (Brazil), Bobby Charlton (England), Karl-Heinz Schnellinger (Germany), Uwe Seeler (Germany), Lev Yashin (Soviet Union), Pedro Rocha (Uruguay), Enrico Albertosi (Italy), Gianni Rivera (Italy), Dobromir Zhechev (Bulgaria), Sepp Maier (Germany), Dino Zoff (Italy), Władysław Żmuda (Poland), Émerson Leão (Brazil), Diego Maradona (Argentina), Giuseppe Bergomi (Italy), Jim Leighton (Scotland), Enzo Scifo (Belgium), Franky Van Der Elst (Belgium), Andoni Zubizarreta (Spain), Hong Myung-Bo (South Korea), Hwang Sun-Hong (South Korea), Paolo Maldini (Italy), Fernando Hierro (Spain), Marc Wilmots (Belgium), Jacques Songo'o (Cameroon), Sami Al-Jaber (Saudia Arabia), Mohamed Al-Deayea (Saudi Arabia), Cafu (Brazil), Ronaldo (Brazil), Oliver Kahn (Germany), Kasey Keller (USA), Claudio Reyna (USA), Rigobert Song (Cameroon), Lee Woon-Jae (South Korea), Fabio Cannavaro (Italy), Thierry Henry (France), Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi (Japan), Seigo Narazaki (Japan), Denis Caniza (Paraguay), Miroslav Klose (Germany), Iker Casillas (Spain), Xavi Hernandez (Spain), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon), Rafael Márquez (Mexico), DaMarcus Beasley (USA)



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