The Socceroos' toil to reach the World Cup in Russia next month has been remarkable and record-breaking.
Sent by FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation on the longest path required to qualify for a World Cup, Australia overcame a 22-match, 29-month toil of innumerable kilometres in the air to confirm their place at the 2018 tournament.
It began in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in June 2015 and concluded in November 2017 with a home-and-away defeat of Honduras - both nations that the Socceroos had never faced, nor probably ever dreamed of facing.
Yes, it's been arduous.
Hell, it even claimed coach Ange Postecoglou, who couldn't contend with the struggles and packed his bags shortly after Australia's berth was secured.
But for the Socceroos, that's not new.
It's always been tough.
Rotten or rigged pathways out of Oceania were replaced last decade with highly competitive journeys through the sprawling Asian confederation.
While the Socceroos have now reached four finals in a row, it's yet to deliver a pay-off worthy of the journey.
Australia will participate in a fifth World Cup when kick off comes along against France in Kazan on June 16.
Each of the the Socceroos' trips to the World Cup finals have brought honest toil and heartbreak.
The 1974 trailblazers, embodied by Johnny Warren, captained by Peter Wilson and coached by Rale Rasic, left their jobs to partake in sport's greatest show but couldn't score a goal to give their achievement a celebratory moment they deserved.
Losses to East Germany and hosts West Germany was followed by a 0-0 draw with Chile, prompting one West German newspaper to print an apology for labelling them as no-hopers.
It took 32 years for the Socceroos to return to the tournament - hosted once more by Germany.
The 2006 campaign was Australia's best to date, featuring the first goal, first win, and first - and only - time through the group stage.
Tim Cahill's late brace in a 3-1 defeat of Japan was the country's modern awakening on the world stage.
An honourable loss to Brazil and dramatic draw with Croatia later, Australia were in the round of 16.
Knowing how it would work out, perhaps they might not have spent the effort.
Matched with powerhouse Italy, Australia took it up to the Azzurri but fell victim to a piece of injury-time gamesmanship that haunts players to this day.
Captain Lucas Neill slide in on Italian Fabio Grosso, who initiated contact to earn a penalty, converted into the match winner by Francesco Totti for a 1-0 result.
"Maybe I accentuated it a little bit," Grosso said, a master of understatement.
Neill, and Australia, coached by Guus Hiddink, were inconsolable.
"For the rest of my life it will eat away at me," Neill said.
Defeat four years later in South Africa would be swifter.
A first-up 4-0 shellacking by Germany knocked the stuffing out of Australia's hopes.
It was eventually decisive.
A 1-1 draw with Ghana meant the Socceroos needed to win and win well against Serbia; they could only do the former.
A 2-1 win, with Cahill back after a red card against Germany to score, meant Pim Verbeek's side missed the knockout round by goal difference.
Australia's last outing at the World Cup will always be remembered for the one that got away.
With Postecoglou inheriting the reins late in the build-up, given the impromada to blood young players, and drawn against giants Netherlands, Chile and reigning champions Spain, the Socceroos were never given a chance.
They nearly pulled something remarkable off.
Cahill's wonder volley against the Dutch is rightfully acclaimed as one of the greatest goals the tournament has ever seen, and when Mile Jedinak followed it with a goal from the penalty spot, Australia were 2-1 up in Porto Alegre.
They couldn't hold on as Memphis Depay scored the winner for a 3-2 result - to go with the first-up 3-1 loss to Chile and a dead rubber 3-0 defeat by Spain.
The insertion of Postecoglou into the top job before Brazil has parallels with Bert van Marwijk's late hiring before Russia.
Whether the Dutchman will endure a similar heartache to his compatriot Hiddink in 2006, or the brutally honest reminder of where Australia sits in the pecking order that Postecoglou received in 2014, remains to be seen.
But given Australia's history, pain should be expected.
AUSTRALIA AT THE WORLD CUP FINALS
Finished: 14th (exited after group stage)
Played: 3 (1 draw 2 losses)
East Germany 2 def Australia 0
West Germany 3 def Australia 0
Chile 0 drew with Australia 0
Finished: 16th (made round of 16)
Played 4 (1 win 1 draw 2 losses)
Australia 3 def Japan 1
Brazil 2 def Australia 0
Australia 2 drew with Croatia 2
Round of 16: Italy 1 bt Australia 0
Finished: 21st (exited after group stage)
Played 3 (1 win 1 draw 1 loss)
Germany 4 def Australia 0
Australia 1 drew with Ghana 1
Australia 2 def Serbia 1
Finished: 30th (exited after group stage)
Played 3 (3 losses)
Chile 3 def Australia 1
Netherlands 3 def Australia 2
Spain 3 def Australia 0
5 - Tim Cahill
2 - Brett Holman
1 - Mile Jedinak, John Aloisi, Harry Kewell, Craig Moore