International football is considered by many to be the pinnacle of the sport. The World Cup, the European Championships, the Copa America...it's in these tournaments that the best players get the chance to prove they're the best on a worldwide stage.
But it's not always as simple as that. In fact, over the years, there have been a fair number of players who, for one reason or another, never had the opportunities to represent their countries at the international level—despite success with their clubs.
Here, we take a look at some of the better players who were never capped by their countries.
For a period in the late 80s/early 90s, Atkinson was one of the top strikers in England, playing for Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday before heading off to Spain with Real Sociedad—only to return to England after just one season to join Aston Villa.
Atkinson went on to enjoy his most successful spell in football with Villa, and is still considered a hero by their supporters for his performance in the 1994 League Cup final, in which Villa beat Manchester United, thanks in part to his goal.
Given the number of players who've been capped by Scotland in recent years, it's almost impossible now to imagine an era when there was enough quality to overlook a player like Craig Brewster.
Although he was one of the top strikers in Scotland during the 90s, Brewster was overlooked by a succession of Scotland managers and was never capped.
You can't help feeling, though, that if he'd been born 10 years later, he would have racked up a huge number of appearances for Scotland.
Domenico Morfeo played for 16 years in Italy, but although he was once transferred for 15 million euros to Fiorentina, the furthest he got at the international level was appearing in Italy's U21 squad.
Although, in many ways, it must be great to be a German goalkeeper, it does have its downsides. Number one? Well, you're usually in pretty good company.
Throughout his career, Klos's route to the Germany side was blocked by the likes of Oliver Kahn and Andreas Kopke.
Klos had to make do with success at club level, where aside from winning the Champions League in 1996-97 with Borussia Dortmund, he won four league titles with Rangers in the SPL.
Dario Hubner's stats are pretty impressive. In a career spanning almost 20 years, Hubner had a reputation for being a goal machine and was even the top scorer in Serie A in 2001-02 at the age of 35.
As was the case for di Canio,competition for places in the Italy squad in the mid 90s was too tough for him to ever get a cap.
Fink might have been one of the lesser-known players in the successful Bayern Munich side of the 90s, but he played an important role nonetheless, and has the kind of medal collection most players dream about.
Four Bundesliga titles. Three German Cups. One Intercontinental Cup. And one Champions League.
He might not have been capped, but I would wager that having that sort of success makes the disappointment a little bit easier to deal with.
Arteta's story is the same as those of a lot of the players listed here—they just happened to be born at the wrong time.
In an era where Spain have assembled a team as good, in many ways, as anything we've ever seen in international football, Arteta has had to settle with club football, knowing that getting into a Spain midfield with the likes of Iniesta and Xavi was always going to be a step too far.
Although a consistent performer in the Premiership during his spells with Fulham, Spurs and Sunderland, Malbranque was never deemed to be of the required standard to represent his country and was never called up for the national side.
Interestingly, Malbranque would also have been eligible to play for Belgium, having been born in Mouscron—which means he was technically snubbed by two countries.
Ralph Milne was part of the greatest Dundee United team in history and scored 15 goals for them in European competitions in the 1980s before earning a move to England, where he eventually ended up with Manchester United.
Milne's career stagnated somewhat in England, though, and he never went on to hit the same heights he had in Scotland—or to be capped for his country, which manager Jim McLean described in his autobiography as "a tragedy."
Alongside Colin Harvey and Alan Ball, Kendall played in a midfield three for Everton known as "The Holy Trinity"—high praise indeed.
Kendall made 229 appearances for Everton, winning the FA Cup in 1967-68 and the League Championship in 1969-70, but was never capped for England.
Despite being an integral part of a successful Manchester United side, Bruce was never deemed good enough for England and went his whole career without getting capped.
Admittedly, Bruce played in an era when England had a number of quality centre-backs, but it's strange all the same to think that someone who made over 300 appearances for Manchester United was never included.
With all the controversy and scandal surrounding di Canio, many people don't realise that, despite his ability as a player, he was in fact never capped for Italy.
Di Canio enjoyed arguably his best spell in football with West Ham between 1999 and 2003, but he would perhaps have stood more of a chance of being picked for Italy had he experienced the same sort of success in Serie A.