Suspended Australia international Mark Bresciano is eyeing a move back to Italy to get playing time ahead of this year's FIFA World Cup.
Bresciano was cleared to play at the World Cup by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) this week after receiving a four-month FIFA ban and a $1.9million fine in November for an alleged illegal transfer between clubs in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
While his application for a stay of proceedings was rejected, meaning his four-month suspension will stand, the CAS took into account his personal aspirations and granted him permission to compete in Brazil after his ban expires on March 13.
Bresciano is allowed to compete in friendlies for both Al Gharafa – his current club in Qatar – and the Socceroos during his suspension but believes his best option is a return to Italy, where he spent over 10 years as a player before moving to the Middle East.
"Here in Qatar, they're not really big on friendly games," he said.
"I was in Italy for so long and I know in Italy every club has a friendly game during the week which is a friendly game against another opponent, so it's pretty intense.
"I personally think that would be the best for me, but this is just me talking out loud.
"I haven't spoken to the club regarding it, so if they do give me their permission, I would really consider it."
Bresciano, who played for Empoli, Parma, Palermo and Lazio in Italy, said he would prefer a move to Australia if there were enough friendlies on offer, but believes the familiar surroundings of Europe is a more realistic choice.
While insisting his suspension is unique and not a reflection on football in the Middle East, Bresciano said he was still disappointed to be sidelined after FIFA sighted an irregularity in his contract.
"Knowing what actually happened, I thought we had a really strong case," he said.
"I thought (the CAS) would have accepted the stay and I thought I would have won the hearing anyway.
"But in this case, obviously I'm not risking the World Cup, which is the only good side about it."
A frustrated Bresciano, who has made 73 appearances for Australia since his debut in 2001, took time away from training following his return to Qatar after his country's 1-0 friendly win against Costa Rica in November.
"I felt like I'd been hard done by," he added. "Emotionally I was down; I was just an angry man walking around.
"I didn't know where to turn or where to go. It took time but I got back on my feet and started training again.
"With this decision being made I just know that I don't have to worry about it anymore.
"I don't have to go to sleep thinking if I do start playing and they don't accept the stay, am I going to miss the World Cup?
"I know this is it, I have to wait until the 13th of March and then I play again. There's no worst-case scenario."
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