Adam Sarota says his exploits in Europe are no guarantee of World Cup selection and he is desperate to make up for lost time to show coach Ange Postecoglou he deserves a berth in Brazil
The FC Utrecht star is just one of a host of midfield talent at Postecoglou's disposal as the boss tries to settle on a final squad of 23 for next month's tournament.
Sarota's build up towards the World Cup has been anything but smooth, missing almost the whole of 2013 after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament.
The 25-year-old managed to play the second half of the most recent season in the Eredivisie, racking up 15 games under to get back into green and gold calculations.
But Sarota is taking nothing for granted now, especially with so many players vying for a midfield berth.
Mark Milligan, Mile Jedinak, James Holland, James Troisi, Oliver Bozanic, Matt McKay, Josh Brillante and Massimo Luongo are also in the 30-man squad, meaning every session is crucial.
"It's a very important few weeks for everyone to perform well and I think every player knows they don't have a ticket, even in the 27 [to Brazil]," Sarota said on Saturday.
"Each player knows it's not 100 percent done. I have to try and train well and hopefully that's enough.
"I'm not thinking I'm going to Brazil just because I play overseas. Even though there's a lot of A-League players here, they are also very good.
"I'm not rating my chances highly but I'm also not underestimating myself."
A groin injury suffered in Utrecht's penultimate game of the season has so far restricted Sarota to only limited time in each of the sessions in 'Camp Socceroo' on the NSW Central Coast.
He is confident of joining in full training as of Sunday and is confident he can still impress Postecoglou despite being a couple of days behind the rest of the squad.
While he struggled at the time to deal with the first serious injury and disappointment of his career, Sarota said his comeback from the knee surgery has him more resilient than ever.
"When I was fit [before the injury] I was playing a game on the weekend, training during the week and it become like an every day job," the former Brisbane Roar star said.
"After the injury my season was done and that was it.
"The positive thing after the injury is you become a lot more mentally strong.
"For any player, no matter when they are injured it's always frustrating. I missed the first half of the season with my knee injury but it feels strong now."
While Sarota admits making the final cut to go to a World Cup would be a dream come true, he won't be content unless he sees some game time against the likes of Spain, the Netherlands and Chile.
"I'm quietly confident that when I'm in full training that I deserve to be here and I will do well," he said.
"Every player has a dream not only to go to the World Cup but to play.
"I'm like every other player I really want to play a few minutes if I'm selected."
Asked about the prospect of coming up against the Netherlands where he is based, Sarota said: "It would be an interesting game obviously because I know a lot of the players in the Dutch national team.
"Holland at the end of the day is a massive country in football. They go into every game expecting to win.
"But with us they'll get a bit of a surprise."
And don’t forget the Socceroos are playing in Sydney this month so send them off to Brazil in style.
Send Off the Socceroos
Socceroos vs South Africa, presented by NAB
Monday 26 May 2014 ANZ Stadium, Sydney Kick-off: 7.30pm
Tickets are from $30 including public transport. Buy now!
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