Few were as far removed from the honest toil and heartache of the Socceroos than eight-year-old Harry Souttar in his Scotland home.
Or so it would seem.
For pictures of those rank outsiders who clawed their way into the FIFA World Cup round of 16 for the first time were staring back at him every day from his bedroom wall.
Souttar has watched three squads try to emulate their predecessors from 2006 and fail, bowing out in the group stages in the game's showpiece event.
Now aged 20, Souttar is among them, and he has a chance to help his mother's home country grow out of the tiresome mould of honourable losses and gallant draws.
He wasted little time in making an impact with a goal on debut in the Socceroos' 5-0 thrashing of Nepal at Canberra Stadium on Thursday night.
His 24th minute strike gave Souttar the fastest goal for a Socceroos debutant since Aaron Mooy's effort in December of 2012. His deflected header in the second stanza added the icing on the cake.
"He belongs with us and has been a great find for us," Socceroos coach Graham Arnold said.
"It made it easy for the kid because he was a part of the Olyroos as well. We try to send the same messages to all the kids as well as the Socceroos boys.
"Harry is a very good player, he is very calm, he is very good on the ball. I don't think he put a foot wrong tonight.
"He's great on the set pieces, that's where we've got a strength with him and that height.
"When you look at him playing at Fleetwood Town every week, he is on loan from Stoke City back to there, it's all about him wanting to play every week and improving his game."
Pre-game lines of traffic snaked all the way back to Haydon Drive with 18,563 soccer fans turning out to see their side take its second step on the road to Qatar.
The home fans walked away dreaming of putting together a herculean run to the 2022 World Cup but a tinge of frustration at many wasted opportunities.
The hosts still had trouble when it came to breaking down a loaded line of defence. And Arnold's outfit's opposition, for the most part, will only get tougher.
With the likes of Tom Rogic and Daniel Arzani waiting for their chance to return to the fray, one can only hope it improves.
The away fans? Well, a hefty deficit certainly wasn't going to dampen their mood.
Even the slightest of touches would bring the Nepalese crowd to its feet, yet atmosphere in the stands will only get you so far.
This is the sort of nation Australia should be putting away en route to the tournament players dream of featuring in the world over.
At times they looked a shadow of the Socceroos that took a record 22 games to qualify for the most recent edition of the game's showpiece event.
At others the Socceroos fired false shots in front of a boisterous crowd yearning for more elite soccer in the capital, a crowd that erupted into a Viking clap during the second half.
Ill-fated bids to earn a place in the A-League have not broken the most hearty souls devoted to "the world game" in Canberra - for some, they have only fuelled the fire.
For those folk, there is always reason to dream the national men's competition will one day award a them a franchise to go along with their W-League club.
Canberra fans will see the Matildas in their backyard at some stage soon, with FFA officials still working on a date after their original plans for next month were scuppered by a Crusty Demons clash.
The Matildas, a national team whose most recent World Cup campaign ended with genuine frustration about what might have been.
It is a level one hopes the Socceroos will rise to. For there will come a day when such labels about the battlers punching above their weight, in some cases, will grow weary.
We can only hope it comes sooner rather than later. If Souttar has his way, it very well may.