Check out some of the names that have been omitted from their respective World Cup rosters. And while there could be more to come, its more likely that the big names invited to training camps are already guaranteed spots in their 23.
Just look at the attackers staying home: Benzema is not in the French squad. Kuranyi not playing for Germany. Van Nistelrooy was unsuccessful in his comeback bid for Holland. Totti and Toni are overlooked by Italy. But no one has bigger names than Brazil - 3 of their starting 4 attackers from 2006 (Kaka remains of course) are out: Ronaldinho, Adriano and Ronaldo. Young AC Milan striker, Pato is left behind by Dunga as well. And here the US is, rummaging through the MLS and other 2nd rate leagues for anything we can find.
Defenders and Midfielders include: Samir Nasri - the biggest shock. Patrick Viera - a veteran presence. Cambiasso, Zanetti and Riquelme from Argentina, even though Riquelme would only get an invite over Maradona's dead body. Guti never had a chance for Spain. Alex from Brazil. Just crazy world class players not going. And we're here debating whether to take Bornstein or Pearce - hilarious.
Of all those names, Benzema is a big surprise for me. Though he is not getting a lot of playing time at Real Madrid, he is still nearing his prime playing age and France will need him for the next decade. Maybe he really was terrible this year. Maybe he is getting taught a lesson for a certain indiscretion. Or maybe Raymond Domenech is still just an idiot.
Did you see the other strikers Domenech picked? There's 4 guys - Ben Arfa, Valbuena, Briand, Gignac - that I've never heard of. You're telling me that Benzema's not a better option off the bench in the 70th minute when you really need a goal than those guys?
But the biggest oversight has got to be Nasri. You could argue that he was Arsenal's creative engine this year. I would fire Domenech just for that stupidity.
This starting lineup could make the knockout stages of the WC.
Friedel (yeah, he retired internationally but he's still that good)
Zanetti - Alex - Garay - Marcelo
Guti - Cambiasso - Nasri
Ronaldinho - Benzema - Pato
Totti, Viera, Riquelme, Adriano, Diego, Mexes on the bench