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One of his country's best players at South Africa 2010, the former Aston Villa man has ended his international career to avoid missing the cut for Brazil

Brett Holman has become the latest casualty of Ange Postecoglou's Socceroos clear-out, the attacking midfielder retiring from international football to pre-empt his likely omission from Australia's World Cup squad.

Holman's decision to call it quits is something of a surprise and yet also not entirely unexpected given the lack of favour Postecoglou has thus far shown to the old guard.

The unexpected star of Australia's last World Cup campaign, Holman has only just turned 30 and was voted Australian Footballer of the Year in November 2012.

Earlier that year he secured a move from Eredivisie club AZ Alkmaar to Premier League side Aston Villa, and was expected to become one of the top-performing Australians plying their trade overseas.

But from that high point Holman's decline has been swift and merciless.

He failed to earn a regular first-team berth at Villa under Paul Lambert and opted for a lucrative move to Al Nasr of the United Arab Emirates rather fight to make it in England's top flight.

That decision was met with scorn by supporters and media alike, and it has effectively signalled the end of Holman's relevance to the national team.

His last appearance in the green and gold came in the 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Brazil in September 2013. Posteoclgou left him out of his first squad as national team coach for the friendly win over Costa Rica in November, and Holman was only called up ahead of the defeat to Ecuador in March as an injury replacement.

The writing was well and truly on the wall for Holman's hopes of going to Brazil. Postecoglou is on record as saying football in the Middle East is poor preparation for the high-tempo pressing game he hopes to introduce.

The Socceroos boss has also insisted he will not select players who are not playing regularly, prompting Mark Schwarzer to announce his international retirement, while Brett Emerton and Harry Kewell have ended their careers altogether.

Of the survivors, Mark Bresciano, also guilty of playing only sporadically in recent months, can still hope to be involved due to his prized ability to keep possession of the ball.

Josh Kennedy and Luke Wilkshire could make it to Brazil, while Tim Cahill remains a certainty to feature.

Lucas Neill's desperate bid to appear at a third World Cup appears likely to fail after injury restricted his playing time on loan from Watford at Doncaster Rovers.

Holman, one of the successors to that golden generation, had time on his side and chose financial security over the pursuit of glory. That is his prerogative and, with a young family to provide for, to some extent understandable.

But with Matthew Spiranovic and Sasa Ognenovski fleeing the region to revive their careers and Alex Brosque disappearing without trace, the path to riches in the Middle East now unquestionably represents a double edged sword for Australian players.

As long as Postecoglou remains in charge, accepting a bumper pay-day in the UAE or Qatar is a fast-track to international exile.