Mark Bresciano is of the belief that his move to the Middle East just over a year ago helped reignite his career.
The 32-year old midfielder left Italian club Lazio, following stints with Palermo, Parma and Empoli, to join UAE outfit Al Nasr last August before moving on to Qatar with Al Gharafa about two months ago.
Bresciano has been criticised by former Socceroos midfielder Robbie Slater for his decision to play in the Middle East but the Melbourne-born attack-minded player feels he has been vindicated with his recent form for the national team.
"That is his opinion, and everyone has the right to their opinion. Different players in their own different careers make their own decisions. I can only talk for myself," he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"I thought it was the right time for me both physically and mentally to get out of Italy. I had been in Italy for such a long time, and I needed that break because I could not do it any longer.
"More mentally, because there is a lot of pressure playing in Italy both on and off the park. I got to a stage where I was just doing my head in.
"Should I be picked in the national team? If you haven't got any other players, then who is going to play? If your best 22 or 23 players are considered and some of them are playing [regularly], they should not be [critiqued] on what club they are playing for, so I don't agree with that."