Aaron Mooy will provide the midfield spark for Australia as the Socceroos once again attempt to punch above their weight at their fourth straight World Cup.
The tenacious 27-year-old played a significant role as Huddersfield Town dodged relegation from the English Premier League, most notably in attack but also with his defensive qualities.
Relatively small and slightly built, Mooy's game is based around incisive passing and using a sharp footballing brain to be in the right place at the right time, scoring four league goals this season.
"He has the tenacity of a young boy who just won't quit," said Erik Paartalu, a former team-mate of Mooy's at Melbourne City.
"He just wants to win at any cost and if things don't go well he'll push and push and push."
Mooy has displayed the same resilience throughout a rollercoaster career which began when the Sydneysider left home as a teenager to join the Bolton Wanderers academy in north-west England.
Disillusioned at a lack of opportunities after four years, he left for St Mirren seeking first-team football.
But he suffered a back injury and could not nail down a regular starting berth with the Scottish team, who released him after two years.
Mooy, whose most striking feature is his distinctive clean-shaven head, returned to Australia, his shot at playing in Europe seemingly over.
But he applied himself in the A-League and blossomed at Melbourne City from 2014 to 2016, polishing his attacking game while also becoming a Socceroos regular.
It was enough to catch the eye of Manchester City, who bought him in June 2016 and immediately loaned him to Huddersfield, who signed him for a club record fee last year.
Mooy was instrumental in the Yorkshire club gaining promotion to the Premier League last year, scoring a vital penalty in the play-off final against Reading.
His displays this year, including a winning goal against Manchester United, then helped the Terriers stay up.
Quietly spoken off the field, he has become a fan favourite at Huddersfield, prompting chants of "he's got no hair but we don't care" from the stands.