Harry Kewell has admitted that he came close to quitting football at the height of his injury hell.
The Australia international's pedigree has never been in doubt, with spells at Leeds United, Liverpool and Galatasaray allowing him to showcase his considerable talent.
He has, however, struggled to steer clear of the treatment table throughout his career, with as much time spent away from the pitch as on it.
The niggling knocks have taken their toll on Kewell physically and mentality, with it difficult to continuously pick yourself up from demoralising setbacks.
The 31-year-old admits he considered giving up completely back in 2006, with there seemingly no end in sight to his injury nightmare.
"I came close to quitting football a couple of times," Kewell said in The Observer.
"Only my wife, my manager and my best mate know how close.
"You get to the point where it's such a struggle, you wonder if it's all worth it."
Kewell is, however, now back to something close to his best, with the 2009/10 campaign proving to be his most productive for some time.
The reward for his return to form has been a place in Australia's World Cup squad, and he is desperate to make his mark in South Africa.
"I never doubted my football, it's just a lot of things that prohibited me from playing," he said.
"People are saying now: 'You're at your career best'. I'm just enjoying my football again."
The 2010 World Cup will see Kewell grace football's biggest stage for the second time, but he expects Australia to find the going tougher than they did in 2006 as they are no longer an unknown quantity.
"It (2006) was the first time the world actually saw Australia play. We took it by storm," he added.
"It's going to be harder this year because teams will be more wary of us."