Nearly every nation on earth participates in World Cup qualifying, bringing life to the notion that soccer is "the global game." Each country has its stories, legendary players and memorable moments that become part of timeless lore within and beyond borders, even if the teams never make it to the final tournament.
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil will take place in a little less than two years from now but we can already anticipate that the world's greatest sporting event will produce indelible memories. Undoubtedly, the world will watch in awe and anticipation of the latest exploits from established stars like Lionel Messi, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo. A relatively unknown player will emerge from obscurity to lift not only his own profile but that of his country.
And the curtains will close on the international careers of some of the greats from their respective generations. So who will go out in glory, possibly with the trophy in hand, down in Brazil in the summer of 2014?