Signed by Tottenham back in 2011 after impressing during a trial with the north London club Massimo Luongo’s route to the World Cup in Brazil has been far from an easy one.
Sent out on a series of loans, first with Ipswich Town in the Championship and later with Swindon Town in two separate spells, it was clear that the Sydney-born player had talent, but there simply wasn’t room for experimentation in a Tottenham team chasing Champions League football.
In the end Luongo took the brave decision of moving to Swindon on a permanent basis back in 2013 for a bargain fee of £400,000.
Since then the midfielder has set about showing Spurs what they have been missing, with a series of swashbuckling displays which, while in League One, have nevertheless caught the attention of Australia national team manager Ange Postecoglou.
Seen as one of the new generation of promising young Socceroo superstars, Luongo found himself called up to the current World Cup squad while veterans like Lucas Neill, Brett Holman and Josh Kennedy were jettisoned.
Out to impress for Australia, who seemingly have nothing to lose with a tricky trio of group fixtures against the heavily-fancied trio of Spain, Holland and Chile in the offing, Luongo is relishing the challenge ahead.
Speaking in an interview with the Swindon Advertiser, the Robins regular admitted that while his association with Tottenham was fleeting, it was nevertheless a valuable one.
"Back at Tottenham I played with Modric, van der Vaart, a few of the England boys, Younes Kaboul and a few more," he told the news provider
"It was basically an international set-up so to go into that, coming from Australia, was massive for me and it really helped me."
And while he has no concrete plans to depart the County Ground, Luongo admitted that the tournament in Brazil was a unique opportunity for the midfielder to showcase his talents to teams in the Premier League and beyond.
“I don’t know if it’s the right decision to leave Swindon or if I want to, because I enjoy being at the club, but we’ll have to see after the World Cup,” he said.
After taking the long road to success in the game, here’s hoping Luongo can shine for the Socceroos against Spain and Co.