Reliving Milos Degenek's journey to the Socceroos to celebrate his birthday
Socceroos defender Milos Degenek turns 26 on Tuesday and to mark his birthday we have taken a look back at his unique journey to the Australian National Team.
Degenek made his Socceroos debut in a friendly match against England on the 27th of May 2016.
He came on as a second half substitute in a 2-1 loss and set up Australia's only goal by forcing English defender Eric Dier to head into his own net.
A week later, Degenek made his starting debut in a 1-0 win over Greece.
He had a remarkable story to get to that point.
Born in Knin, Croatia, but having also lived in Serbia for a short while, Degenek and his family were forced to flee both countries before he turned six years of age.
They ended up in Sydney and the rest is history.
During this time, he represented Australia at under 15, 16 and 17 level.
As a 17-year-old, he left Sydney and joined VfB Stuttgart, where he spent three years with their youth and reserve teams.
During his time in Stuttgart, Degenek also represented Serbia at under 19 level before he joined German second division club, 1860 Munich.
A string of consistent performances in Munich earned the defender a call up for the U-23's, where he pledged his allegiances to the green and gold indefinitely.
Following his international debut against England, Degenek swapped Germany for Japan and signed with Yokohama F Marinos.
He quickly established himself in the starting eleven and performed at a level that saw him named in the J League Young Players' Best XI.
He then began to feature prominently for the Socceroos, particularly under the management of Ange Postecoglou in the FIFA World Cup qualification process.
Degenek played two times at the FIFA Confederations Cup and was also named in the 23-man squad for the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.
However, he did not feature and was an unused substitute in the three group stage matches.
After the tournament, he joined Red Star Belgrade and played in the clubs 2018/19 UEFA Champions League campaign before moving to Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia and then back to Red Star again.
Degenek remains an integral part of the Socceroos setup and will no doubt, have a big part to play in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.