Given that it takes place every four years, the World Cup always throws up some major Premier League throwbacks.
Be it long-staying legends or indeed those who came and went in the blink of an eye, ex-Premier League players always seem to show up on the big stage.
But given the constant turnover in the English top flight, it is undoubtedly impossible to remember each and every player to have come and gone over the years.
Such players are often forgotten about and fade away from the TV screens across various leagues around the world when they finally call it a day in the Premier League. But every four years, they are given another spot in the limelight for their respective countries.
And the upcoming tournament in Qatar is no different. But which forgotten ex-Premier League players are representing their respective nations this time around?
10 forgotten ex-Premier League players at the 2022 World Cup
Where else to start other than Ecuador striker Enner Valencia, who first introduced himself to English football with a move to West Ham in 2014. He stayed in England for three years – which included a loan spell at Everton – but for whatever reason couldn’t quite make his mark in the competition.
But after a disappointing few years, the 33-year-old is now banging in the goals for Fenerbahce in Turkey, with 15 goals in 22 matches this season. Moreover, Valencia now captains his country, and stole the show on the opening day of the 2022 World Cup, upsetting hosts Qatar with both goals as his side won 2-0.
Another man in Qatar this winter with Everton ties is Bryan Oviedo, with the full-back lining out for Costa Rica. He spent five years in the Premier League with the Toffees, staying in England for another three years after that with Sunderland.
Now 32 and playing for MLS side Real Salt Lake, Oviedo is one of a handful of former Premier League players who will be participating in the 2022 World Cup for Costa Rica.
And one of those players is former Fulham attacker Bryan Ruiz, who at 37 is one of the elder statesmen of the Costa Rican side. He’s played almost 150 games for his country, and now rightfully wears the captain’s armband.
Ruiz earned cult hero status during his time in west London, playing over 100 matches for the English side. He’s now playing his club football in his home nation for Alajuelense.
Also with over 100 caps for his country is Japan defender Maya Yoshida. The 34-year-old also captains his national team, and may just be lining out for his final World Cup in Qatar.
Having been a regular during his eight years at Southampton, Yoshida now plays in the Bundesliga for Schalke, with his previous clubs including VVV-Venlo and Sampdoria.
Aged 37, footballers don’t come much more experienced than France goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, who will be taking part in his third World Cup in Qatar. After starring for Marseille for several years, Premier League Crystal Palace came calling in 2016, but the shot-stopper made a quick return home after playing just 10 matches for the Eagles.
Mandanda certainly won’t be France’s number one in Qatar, having been forced to play behind Hugo Lloris for much of his international career, with West Ham’s Alphonse Areola now also ahead of him in the pecking order. His wisdom and experience will, however, be of real use to the youngsters in the French squad.
Wahbi Khazri spent just two seasons in the Premier League for Sunderland, but in that time he managed to score a few memorable goals. The attacker is now playing his club football in Ligue 1 for Montpellier, and will be a key player for Tunisia in the upcoming World Cup.
Khazri has plenty of big-game experience, and Tunisia are clearly relying on such experience, with the forward wearing the captain’s armband.
Croatia have been a strong contender in the World Cup in recent years, with the likes of Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic playing crucial roles in their successful journeys. But another player that has been in the squad in recent times is ex-Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren.
The former Liverpool man has made the final 26-man squad once again for the upcoming tournament. Now 33, Lovren is captain of Russian Premier League club Zenit Saint Petersburg, having previously spent seven years in England; one with Southampton and six with Liverpool.
And another former Liverpool centre-back that has made the roster for the 2022 World Cup is Uruguay’s Sebastian Coates, who will line up for the South Americans alongside fellow ex-Reds man Luis Suarez.
Coates, who is now playing in the Primeira Liga for Sporting, spent a handful of seasons with Liverpool, with a few more campaigns coming in England with Sunderland. The defender wasn’t exactly a massive hit on Merseyside, but now captains his beloved Sporting.
Another Costa Rica man looking to make an impact this winter is striker Joel Campbell, currently plying his trade with Liga MX side Leon. The attacker has one goal and three assists from his 18 appearances in all competitions for his club this season.
Campbell spent seven years on the ranks at Arsenal, but rarely featured for the Gunners, having been sent out on loan on seven separate occasions. The forward heads into the tournament with two assists in the recent friendly victory over Nigeria.
Also with Arsenal connections is goalkeeper Mat Ryan, who is expected to start between the sticks for Australia in Qatar, with the Socceroos just about making it to the prestigious competition through the inter-confederation play-off via a penalty shootout win over Peru.
Ryan will undoubtedly face plenty of shots over the coming weeks, but he has plenty of big-game experience, having spent four years in the Premier League with Brighton. The goalkeeper also had a brief loan spell at Arsenal, and is now playing in Denmark for Copenhagen.
Which other ex-Premier League players will be at the 2022 World Cup?
There are plenty of other former Premier League players lining out for their respective nations, including a handful of veterans in Jan Vertonghen, Xherdan Shaqiri, Joao Mario, Toby Alderweireld, Kasper Schmeichel, Andre Ayew and Simon Mignolet.
Other more perhaps fresh faces at the World Cup that once played Premier League football include Sofiane Boufal, DeAndre Yedin, Andre Kramaric, Aaron Mooy, Juan Foyth and Andreas Cornelius among others.