The 31-year old was speaking to the Daily Telegraph from an Australian national team perspective when he said that it is vital to be smart about which players are used for different types of international matches.
Cahill is taking the European summer off Socceroos duty for the first time in about eight years so he knows exactly why the Australian management needs to manage its players, particularly those heading toward the twilight of their careers.
“If we're going to qualify for the biggest competitions in the world, you need the best players and you need depth," he said.
"The first priority is players staying fit so that they're available when it matters for club and country. The [national] coach might have to pick and choose who he uses when, be a bit cute about managing everyone.
"It's the way the top level is going now. Even England are seeing the importance of players having their workload managed.
"The second part of it is that the best times we've ever had have been with the majority of our players playing at the highest level overseas.
"In 2006 we had Bresh and Vinnie [Mark Bresciano and Vinnie Grella] playing in Serie A, others in Germany and Holland, and it helps the squad immensely. We had Zeljko Kalac at Milan, Craig Moore in the EPL, myself and Harry (Kewell) at the time.
"We all learn that day-to-day professionalism and the pressure of elite competition. It gives you the experience to draw on for a major competition where the games are so intense and they come so quickly."