While football fans around the world dissect the 32 provisional World Cup squads, some of the game's most recognisable stars will be mulling over their international futures after being left out of the reckoning.
It is the famous footballing nations of Brazil, Argentina, Italy and France that have produced the biggest surprises in their squads, including the cutting of five World Cup winners who had looked set to compete for another shot at football's biggest prize.
Although just three of Brazil's 2002 World Cup-winning squad have made their provisional 30-man group for 2010, only the omission of one of that tournament's stars, Ronaldinho, can be counted as a surprise after an impressive season with AC Milan looked to have rejuvenated the playmaker.
The 30-year-old hasn't played for his country since April 2009 and has suffered from Brazil coach Carlos Dunga's plan to keep the squad that helped the team qualify together for the Finals.
That has also left young stars Alexandre Pato and Neymar without a seat on the plane while Adriano, who played but was disappointing in qualification, has been overlooked in favour of Wolfsburg striker Grafite.
Italy have stuck with ten of the 23 players that helped win the World Cup in 2006, with the biggest changes coming in attack where veterans Filippo Inzaghi, Francesco Totti, Luca Toni and Alessandro Del Piero have all been replaced by a new generation of talent.
Of those four only Totti, whose excellent form in Serie A has helped propel AS Roma into the Champions League, was expected to be given a place.
Instead Giuseppe Rossi, Marco Borriello and Giampaolo Pazzini, with just 24 caps between them, will be fighting to make the final group of 23 as Italy start the tournament as six favourites to win it.
Like the Italian old guard and Brazil's forgotten genius, French talisman Patrick Vieira, a World Cup winner in 1998, will fear that his international career is over after being overlooked despite proving his match fitness with Manchester City in the last month.
The energy and strength of Lassana Diarra, Alou Diarra and Abou Diaby, along with the cultured Jeremy Toulalan, gives France huge depth in the centre of midfield and, with those four all aged 28 or under, Viera will understand why he can admit defeat on his dream of a second World Cup.
Not to be undone, Argentina boss Diego Maradona has left out a trio of experienced midfielders in Javier Zanetti, Esteban Cambiasso and Fernando Gago, with the latter two good enough to make most World Cup starting elevens and are still only in their mid-20s.
Another much-heralded midfielder missed the cut for Portugal, as Sporting playmaker Joao Moutinho was ignored by Carlos Queiroz, while 33-year-old Ruud van Nistelrooy could have played his last game for the Netherlands after missing out on Bert van Marwijk's squad.