SOCCEROO Brett Holman has defended his decision to join United Arab Emirates side Al-Nasr ahead of the World Cup in Brazil next year.
Holman, who left English Premier League outfit Aston Villa in June, has come under heavy criticism for accepting a contract in the Middle East from ex-Socceroo Robbie Slater.
National team coach Holger Osieck also expressed his desire for Australia internationals to seek to ply their trade at the highest level possible.
Speaking to News Limited before the Socceroos' friendly against Brazil on Saturday, Holman emphasised that the move was based on the desire for regular match-time before the World Cup.
"When I made the decision there was nothing else available," Holman said.
"There was only a minute opportunity that I would have had a chance at Aston Villa so that was almost a closed door."
The attacking midfielder, who spent a decade plying his trade in the Netherlands before moving to Villa, said Osieck is entitled to his opinion but is determined to prove him wrong.
"The boss has got his opinion obviously and his opinion is what he thinks about that league," Holman said.
"Obviously I'll just have to change that and show him that I'm not going to lose any quality, fitness, speed or agility moving to a club outside of Europe."
Now in the capital Brasilia ahead of the friendly against one of football's superpowers, Holman is hoping Australia can cause an upset on what is a national holiday in Brazil.
In a separate interview with Football Federation Australia (FFA), Holman talked up his side's chances.
"I think against any team you're always going to get your chances, it doesn't matter how great or how world-class any team is," said Holman, who netted twice at the World Cup in South Africa.
"They have got great players, but we have got good players as well and they are showing that in the leagues they are playing in ... and who knows, maybe we can cause a great upset."
While focused on the friendly match this weekend, Holman has set long-term goals of staying in peak condition and performing well week-to-week with the World Cup just around the corner.
"The main thing for me is to stay fit and work really hard and to do well at club level like everybody else," Holman said.
"Obviously you have that second goal in the back of your mind and that is thinking about (the World Cup in) Brazil, it's going to be phenomenal and I think everybody is just hoping time will go fast and it comes quicker."
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