Tuesday night brought to an end months of worrying for players around the world as 32 nations confirmed their chosen 23 names for this month's World Cup finals, and the British influence is heavy. The Premier League is the best represented league at the tournament, with 108 players, while Italy's Serie A provides 75 names and Spain's La Liga 57.
Along with Germany and holders Italy, England are the only country at the finals to have a squad chosen entirely from their domestic league. Germany, Italy, Japan, North Korea, Slovenia and Uruguay are the only nations not to include a British-based player, although Germany defender Jérôme Boateng's move to Manchester City, which the player said yesterday would be completed before the start of the finals a week tomorrow, will reduce that number to five.
The Boateng household will be split when Ghana play Germany in the final Group H encounter in Johannesburg on 23 June, with Berlin-born Kevin-Prince likely to be facing his younger brother Jérôme. Tottenham's Giovani dos Santos will not have the opportunity to line up alongside his brother, after Jonathan was omitted from the Mexico squad, although Manchester United fans will get a chance to check out new signing Javier Hernandez as he lines up for Javier Aguirre's side.
Birmingham supporters will get their first sighting of new 6ft 8in signing Nikola Zigic as he leads the Serbia front line, while the Paraguay duo, Antolin Alcaraz and Cristian Riveros, hope to impress as they prepare to begin new careers with Wigan and Sunderland respectively after the finals.
Manchester City fans will dread the prospect of seeing what they could have had when watching wantaway striker Robinho, who has two months left on his loan deal at Santos, line up for Brazil.
Arsenal and Mexico's Carlos Vela, who played just 11 matches in the Premier League last season, will have a point to prove in Polokwane on 17 June when he could line up against a quartet of club team-mates in Gaël Clichy, Abou Diaby, William Gallas and Bacary Sagna of France. Similarly, Gunners strikers Nicklas Bendtner and Robin van Persie will come head to head as Denmark take on the Netherlands in Group E. Five days later Liverpool's Greek defender Sotiris Kyrgiakos will come up against Anfield team-mates Javier Mascherano and Maxi Rodriguez as Argentina provide the opposition.Reuse content