Ouch! 11 injured stars who will miss the World Cup
Injuries are part and parcel of a contact sport like football.
But when they strike a player during a World Cup year, you can't but feel sorry for them (no matter how much they're paid - okay, maybe except Yaya Toure).
Here's a starting XI of crocked players who can, once they're off their crutches, compete with any nation in Brazil.
GOALKEEPER: Victor Valdes, Spain
While La Roja have no shortage of excellent goalkeepers, Valdes has proved to be a more than able deputy to Vicente del Bosque's undisputed No 1, Iker Casillas.
The goalkeeper, who opted to leave Barcelona after 12 years at his boyhood club, injured his knee in March, cutting his season short.
It deprived him of a chance to bid the Nou Camp goodbye from the pitch.
It also ended his World Cup dreams. At the age of 32, he may not have many chances to play in football's biggest competition.
RIGHT-BACK: Gregory van der Wiel, Holland
A key player for the Oranje at the age of 22 during their march to the World Cup final in 2010, the Ajax youth product has made his name as one of the finest attacking fullbacks in world football.
But tendonitis has plagued the 26-year-old's form for Paris St-Germain this season. It made Holland coach Louis van Gaal opt for the safe option of leaving the marauding right-back behind.
CENTRE BACK: Silvio, Portugal
Injuries marred the luckless Silvio's loan spell at Benfica from Atletico Madrid as the Lisbon side won the Portuguese top flight with the best defensive record in the league.
The incident which ruled the Portuguese defender from the World Cup just highlights how unlucky he has been - Silvio suffered a double leg-break when he clashed with teammate Luisao during a Europa League match against Dutch side AZ Alkmaar.
CENTRE BACK: Holger Badstuber, Germany
Dubbed the "best left-footed defender in Germany" by then-club coach Louis van Gaal in 2010, the Bayern Munich defender, who can also operate as a fullback on either flank, has been capped 30 times for his country at the age of 25.
Despite returning to training with the Bavarian giants in May after recovering from an 18-month layoff from a anterior cruciate ligament injury, it was too late for Germany coach Joachim Loew to include him in the World Cup squad.
LEFT-BACK: Bryan Oviedo, Costa Rica
Everton fans had a glimpse of what Oviedo is capable of as the Costa Rican chipped in with some crucial goals as Leighton Baines' understudy. (Manchester United fans will probably remember him stealing in from the left wing to tap home Everton's late winner at Old Trafford in December)
The attacking fullback won't be repeating his heroics for Costa Rica during the World Cup. He suffered a double leg break playing for the Toffees in the FA Cup against Stevenage in January.
DEFENSIVE MIDFIELD: Kevin Strootman, Holland
The highly-rated "Dutch Roy Keane" had a stellar maiden season for AS Roma as his box-to-box play helped the Roman side finish second in Serie A.
He also scored some fantastic goals in the process.
Even though Strootman's season was cut short to 25 appearances in March after a severe knee injury ruled him out for the rest of the year, Holland coach Louis van Gaal is reportedly dead keen on acquiring his countryman's services when he takes over at Manchester United after the World Cup.
CENTRAL MIDFIELD: Riccardo Montolivo, Italy
"We know that this is part of football but we are all shocked. He is an important player for us and has been, in the past few years, an example to all his team-mates, not only on the pitch but off it."
Those were the words of Italy's head coach Cesare Prandelli after the AC Milan captain broke his shin during the Azzurri's World Cup warm match against Ireland.
While Andrea Pirlo is expected to be the main man for Italy in Brazil, Montolivo would have been a good foil or substitute with his versatility and passing ability.
LEFT WINGER: Marco Reus, Germany
A target for a host of Europe's best clubs like Barcelona and Manchester United, the Borussia Dortmund man is capable of playing any attacking role in midfield with his silky skills and incisive passing.
But a tearful Reus had to be helped off the field during Germany's 6-1 win over Armenia after injuring his ankle ligaments, ruling him out of the World Cup.
RIGHT WINGER: Franck Ribery, France
The livewire winger looked like he was winning his battle against a back injury to be fit for the World Cup.
He pulled up during his return to training with Les Bleus, forcing Didier Deschamps to leave one his most potent attacking weapons behind.
STRIKER: Christian Benteke, Belgium
While the loss of Benteke through a torn Achilles tendon has been softened by the outstanding form of Romelu Lukaku, the Aston Villa striker has been the main man leading the line for Belgium.
Already capped 17 times by the Red Devils at the age of 23, Benteke's physical presence and predatory instincts in front of goal will be missed by Belgium, who are hotly tipped to be the dark horses in Brazil.
STRIKER: Radamel Falcao, Colombia
One of the most-coveted footballers before making a 60 million euro ($101m) move to Monaco from Atletico Madrid last year, Falcao played a key role in getting Colombia to Brazil by scoring nine times in 13 qualifying matches.
He suffered a dreaded ACL injury in January during a French Cup game and was forced to pull out of Jose Pekerman's World Cup squad after he failed to recover in time.
Pekerman described the day he finalised his Falcao-less squad as "the saddest day I've had since becoming Colombia coach".