Cristian Volpato Roma GFXGetty/GOAL

Cristian Volpato: Roma's Australian wonderkid who turned down a World Cup call-up

Unfancied heading into the World Cup, Australia's players stand on the edge of potential glory in Qatar, knowing that they are 90 minutes away from footballing immortality in a country that is still learning to love the beautiful game.

A draw against Denmark may well be enough for the Socceroos to reach the knockout stages of the competition for just the second time, while a win will guarantee progression for Graham Arnold's team.

Theirs is a squad of few star names, with perhaps Celtic midfielder Aaron Mooy – who had stints in the Premier League with Huddersfield Town and Brighton – the most recognisable to European fans.

If things had gone differently, though, then Australia could have had one of Serie A's rising stars amongst their number.

Roma attacking midfielder Cristian Volpato has already made an impact on the first team at Stadio Olimpico, and Arnold was keen for him to join up with the Socceroos squad in Qatar.

The 19-year-old turned them down, though, instead choosing to wait on making a decision over his international football.

Given his talent, it is a call that is unlikely to define his career. But what makes him so special, and why were Australia so keen to have him at the World Cup?

Let NXGN explain...

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