Australia striker Tim Cahill was in tears after being sent off in the Socceroos World Cup opener against Germany.

“It’s probably one of the saddest moments of my footballing career,” Cahill told reporters in Durban after the match yesterday. “It just shows you how dreams can be made and crushed in the space of hours.”

Mexican referee Marco Antonio Rodriguez showed Cahill a straight red card in the 56th minute of the Group D game. It was a shock decision as the Aussie appeared to fall before crashing onto German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger in the process.

Schweinsteiger told the referee that Cahill did not deserve to be sent off and repeated after the match: “It was not a red card, sorry.”

Cahill told The Mirror: “This was my World Cup dream and someone has taken it away from me with one decision.”

“I can’t find words to describe how low I feel.

“I’ve been through a lot of tough things in football but nothing this painful. It’s hit me really hard.

“I trained so hard for this, played 50-odd games for Everton last season, kept myself in top shape and now I might not be part of the World Cup any more.

“I’m just so hurt. As a footballer it’s been nice that Schweinsteiger has come out on my behalf said it wasn’t a red card. I’ll leave it for everyone else to make their mind up.”

Watch the controversial moment again here:

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World Cup 2010
Tags: Socceroos, Tim Cahill, red card, referee, Germany, Australia, Bastian Schweinsteiger