Nikita Rukavystya is one of the lucky ones. A specialist at hitting form in the lead up to World Cups, after an "unbelievable" experience in 2010, the Maccabi Haifa winger is aiming to do it all again.
The start of this decade was the pinnacle of Rukavystya's career, at least so far. A well-timed loan to Belgian outfit Roeselare in 2010 earned Rukavystya a move to the 2010 World Cup, and an eventual spell in Germany for Hertha Berlin and Mainz.
"It was a dream come true. It's not something you can really explain until you experience it," Rukavytsya said.
"I was pretty young back then. To be a part of it and to play at a World Cup is unbelievable.
"Hopefully I can push on and (2018) can be my second one."
While he's career in Germany neared its end, after four years outside the national team, 30-year-old Rukavystya could have been forgiven for assuming his Socceroos career was over.
The speedster seemed to be past his prime, his once-devastating pace had somewhat faded and a short spell at Western Sydney Wanderers only renderered three goals from 23 appearances.
A move to Israel, however, sparked life into the Ukrainian-born winger. After striking 14 times in 30 appearances for Beitar Jerusalem, Rukavytsya earned a move to Israeli giants Maccabi Haifa.
After a tough start in Haifa, Rukavystya proved he's added a new element to his game, proving his goal-scoring prowess with nine already this season.
An experienced goal-scorer is exactly what the Socceroos require, so after earning a recall under Ange Postecoglou, now he's got his sights set on the 2018 World Cup.
"It's a new generation," he said.
"The boys are playing in some good leagues and at some good clubs. I'm sure we have a good team and we can really compete.
"You just have to keep working and doing your best.
"In the back of your mind the World Cup should push you to do better. Just do your best and enjoy the experience leading up to it."