Whether it be through injury, form, or favour, some players have an unlucky habit of missing out on international tournaments.
Rio Ferdinand, by some quirky twist of fate, is yet to appear in a European Championships, despite chalking up 81 England appearances. Similarly, Darren Bent made his international debut in March 2006 but missed out on that year's World Cup, the 2010 World Cup and this year's European Championships.
While for these two, injuries and form put paid to their international ambitions, for others the tournaments just come around too soon.
With Euro 2012 still weeks away, GiveMeFootball looks forward to those future stars who could make an impact in Brazil in two years time.
At 22 years old Cleverley really should have been knocking on the door of this summer's squad, but injuries have stunted his progress. A talented central midfielder, and more than capable of holding his own in the United midfield, the former-Under 21 star should have received his first call-up well before the next World Cup.
In which case, Cleverley should be first in line to step into the breach once Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard bow out of the international scene.
The latest product from the prodigious Everton academy, Barkley made his debut for the Toffees earlier this season aged just 17. The Merseyside-born midfielder has featured in every England age group since under-16's, and has been tipped to make a big impact in the Premier League next season.
Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea were all interested in the youngster before Barkley signed a new four-and-a-half-year deal in December 2011 - testament to his considerable talent. Former Everton defender Martin Keown described the England under-21 star as "one of the best players we'll ever see in this country."
The last "once-in-a-generation" player also happened to burst onto the scene from the blue half of Merseyside. If all goes to plan, Barkley should be joining Wayne Rooney in Brazil 2014.
Fresh from his widely-praised Champions League final performance, Bertrand could finally have got the break he's been waiting for. Sat behind Ashley Cole at Chelsea, the pacey left-back has patiently bided his time, and has gone out on loan to five different clubs in the last five years.
But following his display in Munich, expect Bertrand to get much more first-team football next season, whether that be at Stamford Bridge or elsewhere. The former-Gillingham youngster will be 24 by the next World Cup, while Ashley Cole will be 33, so a place on the left-hand side for England should be up for grabs.
The Crewe youngster will surely move on this summer, with Manchester United favourites to land the highly-rated England under-18 international. Still just 18, Powell already has a full league campaign under his belt, scoring 15 goals for Crewe from an attacking midfield position this season.
His assistant manager, Neil Baker, believes Powell has the ability to be the Railwaymen's best ever academy product, and the midfielder picked up every award at Crewe's end-of season presentation, including Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year.
By 2014, the youngster will be 20 and should have featured regularly in the Premier League, giving him the platform to push for a place on the plane to Brazil.
A key member of the Crystal Palace first-team aged 18, Zaha quickly caught the attention of Premier League scouts. Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal have all taken a look but it was Bolton who opened the bidding in January, and their £7m offer was knocked back by the south London club.
But there's no doubt Premier League clubs are excited by the talent of this tricky 19-year-old winger. Zaha received his under-21 call-up in February and scored nine goals for Palace this year.
Few players possess his skill on the ball, but like most wingers, it's a lack of consistency and end-product which is holding him back. Once he gets this right, and his ability suggests it's only a matter of time, he will be knocking on Roy Hodgson's door for an England cap.
If Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was this year's "wildcard", Zaha could be Hodgson's 2014 pick.