SQUADS NAMED WORLDWIDE
With midnight on Tuesday the deadline for national managers to name provisional squads of up to 30 players for the World Cup Finals, Chelsea players now know whether they still have a chance of travelling to South Africa.
The squads will be cut to 23 for the tournament but following on from England naming John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Joe Cole, a France provisional group of 30 contains Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka, the latter yet to take part in a World Cup Finals.
Three Chelsea players are in a 24-man Portugal party - Deco, Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira but despite recent inclusion in squads, there is no Hilario, manager Carlos Queiroz instead choosing two back-up keepers who have not played during qualifying.
There is full selection of our four Africans. Premier League Golden Boot winner Didier Drogba and in-form Salomon Kalou are in Sven-Goran Eriksson's 30-strong list. John Mikel Obi has been called up by Nigeria and should be fit after knee surgery, while despite not playing since the Africa Cup of Nations in January, Michael Essien is Ghana's squad.
Germany captain Michael Ballack is of course selected by his nation and is the only player in a 27-strong squad playing his club football outside of the Bundesliga.
Miroslav Stoch, now a league champion in Holland, is in a 29-man provisional Slovakia squad, but there is disappointment for Alex.
Despite the defender's outstanding end to the season with Chelsea, he is not in the 23 named for Brazil by Dunga. He is in a seven-strong stand-by list of names but will only go to South Africa in the event of injury to others. Inter's Lucio and Roma's Juan are Brazil's main central defenders with AC Milan's Thiago Silva and Benfica's Luisao also selected in the 23.