Johnny Warren medallist Milos Ninkovic never believed his football career would take him to Australia but is clearly grateful for his time with Sydney FC in the A-League.
Ninkovic was crowned the A-League Player of the Year on Monday night after his scintillating campaign for runaway premiers Sydney, with the playmaker having scored nine goals and set up another 10 in the regular season.
In 2010, Ninkovic started for Serbia against Australia in the World Cup in South Africa as Tim Cahill and Brett Holman scored to give the Socceroos a 2-1 win.
Milos Ninkovic and Carl Valeri, Australia v Serbia, 2010 World Cup
The midfielder was playing for Ukraine's most famous club Dynamo Kiev at the time where he won two league titles and three cups before stints with Red Star Belgrade and Evian.
"If somebody told me after the World Cup that I would play in Australia I would never have believed them but this is life and this is football. You never know what is going to be tomorrow," Ninkovic said after the A-League awards ceremony.
Ninkovic's second season in the A-League has seen him lift the Premier's Plate and win the Johnny Warren Medal, with a championship trophy still up for grabs on Sunday when Sydney host Melbourne Victory in the A-League grand final.
The Serb is off contract at the end of the season and Sydney are reportedly set to offer him a marquee deal in the hope of convincing him to stay.
It was widely reported last season that Qatari club Al Gharafa had offered Ninkovic a multi-million dollar deal to leave Sydney, but it is family rather than money that may well decide the midfielder's future.
"Fifteen years I've played overseas and my parents are 60 years old, so maybe it's the time to spend more time with them," he said on Fox Sports' broadcast of Dolan Warren Awards.
Milos Ninkovic, Sydney FC
Ninkovic insisted, however, that he is "happy" in Sydney and paid tribute to the job coach Graham Arnold and the club has done to assemble the squad that have broken numerous A-League records.
"They signed some unbelievable players and we still have an unbelievable atmosphere and I think that's the key," he said.
"I played with some very good players, at Dinamo Kiev for example, but we didn't have this atmosphere in the team."