Many of the nations competing in the 2014 World Cup this summer named their 30-man provisional squads on Tuesday, and five current and two former Newcastle players were among those who will be making the trip to Brazil.
France national team manager Didier Deschamps went ahead and named his 7 stand-by players, effectively naming the final 23-man squad, and Newcastle United right back Mathieu Debuchy and midfielder Moussa Sissoko made the cut. On-loan striker Loic Remy and former midfielder Yohan Cabaye have also been named.
Debuchy, 28, has been a regular in Deschamps' team since 2012, when he featured in the European Championships, and he will likely be an instrumental figure in the back four once again. Sissoko, 24, plays all over Alan Pardew's formation for Newcastle, but usually figures as a holding midfielder for France in a substitute role.
Remy, who will return to Queens Park Rangers over the summer and will likely be sold to the highest bidder, is expected to sit on the bench in favor of Karim Benzema and Franck Ribery. Yohan Cabaye is the other former Magpie to be selected, and indications are that he will partner with PSG teammate Blaise Matuidi in the center of midfield.
Also competing will be Shola Ameobi, who is somewhat of a fixture in the Nigeria squad and was an essential part of their qualification push. He will start alongside Peter Odemwingie at the top of the Super Eagles' formation. Nigeria is in Group F with Iran, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Argentina, who did not select Fabricio Coloccini or Jonas Gutierrez (both exclusions were completely expected).
Cheik Tiote was bit of a surprise selection for the Cote d'Ivoire 28-man squad, as he did not participate in qualifying, but that was as much due to injury as anything else. It will be interesting to see if he makes the final cut, and if so, what his role will be. Tiote was relatively injury-free during the 2013-14 campaign, and surely the lack of the AFCON tournament, which ran the two years prior, had something to do with his health. Cote d'Ivoire will compete with Japan, Greece, and Colombia in Group C.
Finally, Tim Krul will represent Holland. His selection seemed automatic a year ago, but a year of inconsistent play cast a call-up into doubt. It is almost certain that he will back up Michel Vorm in goal. Le Oranje are in Group C with Spain, Chile, and Australia.
The World Cup begins play on 12 June. CHN will be keeping track of each of these squads, so stick with us for previews, live game threads, and analysis.