Sydney: Midfielder Mark Bresciano was drafted into the Australian squad on Tuesday for the first time in 18 months as they prepare to face Saudi Arabia in a World Cup qualifier in Melbourne next week.
The 32-year-old, who played in Italy for 12 years, went on a self-imposed break after the 2010 World Cup but his form for UAE side Al Nasr convinced Socceroos coach Holger Osieck that he was good enough to make a comeback.
"He plays regularly for his club team and scores regularly so I decided to bring him in and see what he can provide on the pitch for us," said Osieck.
"I think mentally he is ready to be back."
Long-time Socceroos Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton were also called up, having moved home to play in the A-League, along with captain Lucas Neill and Mark Schwarzer.
With a strong mix of European, Asian and A-League based players, Osieck said it was chance for them to prove themselves, with Australia having already booked their spot in the final round of Asian World Cup qualifying.
"This match is as important as any match we play to further build on what we have achieved so far," he said of the February 29 clash.
"Each match we play is a chance for players to prove themselves and their position in the squad.
"The players included from the A-League will get a closer look throughout the camp and I will make up my mind if I play them from our sessions."