“Juric was a specific situation because he was very young when he arrived, I think if he had have held out a little longer and there was some more patience on the side of the coaching staff, he could have been more successful here.

“But it’s good to see that he’s developed and become part of the Socceroos squad.”

It would have been a dream story had Karacic made Bert van Marwijk’s final cut - completing one of the most sudden and unlikely rises in Socceroos history - but the 22-year-old’s international future is far from over.

As Gudasic blankly stated, if the Socceroos don’t grab him while they can, he’ll quickly slip out of their grasp.

“I said from day one, it was a decision that had to be made by Fran,” Gudasic said. “Fran’s a regular U/21 Croatian player so that demonstrates that he’s a player with potential.

“When the topic first came up, Fran consulted me and we had open conversations about it, but as time passed Fran’s come to the conclusion that playing for Australia would be a good choice. He’s very happy about being selected.

Karacic at the Socceroos training camp in Antalya, Turkey

“He is very excited…he’s so excited,” Gudasic laughed a few days before the final squad was announced.

“Fran himself has been his main asset – his attitude, determination and the way he’s developed. His professionalism is fantastic. He’s had four or five coaches over the past few years and he’s left a strong impression on all of them.

“We’re certain one day he’ll be playing in one of the top divisions in Europe. His level of development has increased year in, year out.

“To play for any national team is something that every professional dreams of, I think Fran is quite confident as far as his career goes that he has a certain path that I’m sure he’s going to reach.

“This was just an additional benefit for him - that he’s reached a level where the Australian national team are interested about him.

"He’s very keen to prove himself and he remains very positive.”