Tim Cahill's lack of recent playing time will likely not count against him for Australian World Cup selection with Socceroos coach Bert Van Marwijk admitting the 38-year-old was a 'special case'.
The green-and-gold veteran was named in the 32-man preliminary squad for June's tournament in Russia, despite only playing 63 minutes for Championship side Millwall since joining in January.
Cahill's total playing minutes since the A-League season started is 157 - having played 94 minutes with Melbourne City before moving to England.
Van Marwijk says that although he has a tough decision to make about Cahill's selection, the veteran's mental strength and ability to change a game are huge plusses in his favour, even though his club situation hasn't been favourable.
"[Cahill's] a special case. He is special in everything. I had a long conversation with Tim in Norway. He's 38. He is maybe one of the best players to ever play for Australia," Van Marwijk said.
"[The problem is] he doesn't play. He has played five, 10 or 20 minutes. He also has a problem that he is suspended for the last three games.
"But he is also a player who can make a difference and won't be nervous when we play in front of 80,000 people.
"I have to make a choice [by selection deadline] about the strikers. And that will not be easy. But that's why I'm here and I'm not afraid of it."
The Socceroos World Cup squad will be culled to 26 players on May 14 before the final list of 23 will be announced following the friendly against Hungary in Budapest on June 9.