SYDNEY (REUTERS) - Australia's all-time leading goal-scorer Tim Cahill is feeling as fit as ever and thinks he could continue playing for another four seasons into his 40th year.
With his weight and body fat ratio unchanged since he was 17, Cahill said he would be looking for a two- or three-year contract when his deal with Major League Soccer (MLS) club New York Red Bulls expires next year.
The 35-year-old forward, in Australia to prepare for next month's Asian Cup, said he could yet return to the English Premier League, where he spent nine years with Everton before making the switch stateside.
"The future's bright," he told the Australian Associated Press. "I've got another year left on my New York Red Bulls contract. The main feeling for me is every time I'm at a club, I like to be there for a long time.
"To be totally honest, I could have gone back to the Premier League on loan after the World Cup and I decided to stay with Red Bulls for the remainder of the season and still (have) options to go back to the Premier League if it's the right one for me.
"So when you put everything into one, the decision I make will be a methodical one, like I've always made it. It will take a month or so but I think people will be quietly impressed with what I'm trying to do."
Playing for his country, for whom he has scored at the last three World Cups and 36 goals in total, remains a key factor in his considerations over where to play. "I've gone to the MLS because that allows me to play internationally," he added.
"The next decision that I make will still allow me to play internationally. I average 30 or 40 games every season since I was 17 years old and nothing's changed."
Cahill's importance to the Socceroos is borne out by the fact that he has been responsible for eight of the 12 goals Australia have scored since coach Ange Postecoglou took over in 2013.
The host nation will be looking to Cahill for a good few more from Jan 9 to 31 as the Socceroos look to win Asia's biggest tournament for the first time at the third attempt. "Physically, I feel great," he said. "Mentally, I'm always switched on. I'm ready to go."