On the surface, it may seem a strange decision: the Socceroos' most polarising modern figure set to advise the Matildas on dealing with the pressures of modern football, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

But Neill may be the most qualified of any in Australian football to talk about the highs and lows of a professional football career.

The 96-cap Socceroos legend infamously turned his back on FFA and the Australian football landscape in 2014, after then-national coach Ange Postecoglou left him out of the Socceroos squad.

This was after a series of controversies that had blemished Neill's until-then sterling record as one of Australia's most talented and marketable sporting assets.

Neill's nearly 20-year career in which he'd become a feared English Premier League and Galatasaray star ultimately dragged to an end.

First, he appeared to criticise his own younger teammates for the Socceroos' poor form, then he turned on his own fans, giving them the middle finger and swearing at them after he was booed during a match against Costa Rica.

Postecoglou later detailed the phone call that effectively ended Neill's celebrated professional career; a cringeworthy conversation in which Neill - then playing for Doncaster Rovers - made his case for selection before Postecoglou delivered the hammer blow.

"'Lucas, it's gone too far," Postecoglou said.

"I've got to make the call now. Because of who you are I think it's better I make the call early, rather than have to drag on and muddy the waters later on. Let's deal with it now. You're not coming to Brazil'.

Neill had supposedly threatened to go to ground and fulfilled his promise, largely disappearing from the public spotlight for close to six years.

In that time, one of the very few news reports to emanate alleged that he'd declared bankruptcy after a series of poor investments, only adding to Neill's mystique.

It was a remarkable fall from grace for the figure whose football pedigree and model-like looks had seen him grace the Australian media and endorse virtually every product and brand for the duration of the golden generation era.

The long-winded end to Neill's career and subsequent reaction will, for some, beg the question why Neill has been chosen to advise the Matildas' UK stars at the height of their professional careers.

But there is arguably no more experienced figure in Australian football to advise them.

Like the current Matildas crop, Neill came through a highly-centralised, semi-professional system to become a near instant-success in England.

There was a time when Neill was one of the most in-demand players on the continent. He then endured one of the EPL's highest-profile failed transfers to Liverpool, creating scorn and ridicule from his own fans at Blackburn. He faced enduring criticism throughout his career for everything from greed to hack-tactics and overly-aggressive tackles. He captained Australia to its first World Cup in 32 years and was then held responsible for the Socceroos' nailbiting exit. He captained West Ham for close to three years through injury-ravaged spell. He had success with Galatasaray, a failed A-League homecoming, two spells in the UAE and one in Japan. 

He's faced more backlash and media scrutiny than any other Australian footballer and also knows what it's like to crumble under the pressure. He can speak not only about a footballing career, but the pressures of life after football as well. Who's more qualified to advise than someone who's been there and done it all?

His statement, made through FFA, after assisting in guiding new Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson from London to Australia, is a step towards reinclusion in a new age for Australian football.

"Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, FFA asked me to represent them on the ground in London and on 'home away from home soil' at the Australian High Commission. I was honoured to do so," Neill said.

"This is a very important era for the Westfield Matildas and Australian football. Having spent the day with Tony, it is evident how passionate and determined he is to be successful and develop talent. His emotion combined with his attention to detail has me believing that there are exciting times ahead.

"I wish Tony, the staff, and all the Westfield Matildas all the very best as they embark on an amazing four-year journey."