Essentially, in order to play for a country in the World Cup, you need to be a citizen of that country. It's not that cut and dry as the rules are a little more complex and have changed in recent years after Qatar started handing out citizenship to a bunch of Brazilian players (smart move). Regardless, unless you are dealing with North Korea where no one has ever been let in or out, you sometimes, although not always, will get some unexpected players and names on World Cup rosters.
So here are your starting 11 players for the Wild Card team. Try and guess the country they play for and even the country of origin (Answers are below).
1. Nikita Rukavytsya
2. Jean Beausejour
3. Hans Sarpei
4. Georgie Welcome
5. Blaise N'Kufo
6. Xherdan Shaqiri
7. Benny Feilhaber
8. Taye Taiwo
9. Alex Song
10. Khalid Boulahrouz
11. Steve Mandanda
1. Nikita Rukavytsya: Forward, Australia(shown in the left). Born in the Ukraine. Moved to Australia at 14.
2. Jean Beausejour: Midfielder, Chile. Haitian father and Chilean mother.
3. Hans Sarpei: Defender, Ghana. Born in Ghana, raised in Germany.
4. Georgie Welcome: Forward, Honduras (pictured to the right). This gets my vote for best name in the tournament. Who knew "Welcome" was a Latin word?
5. Blaise N'Kufo: Forward, Switzerland. Born in Zaire.
6. Xherdan Shaqiri: Midfielder, Switzerland. Born in Yugolsavia. Those Swiss are pulling in players from all over the world. Typical.
7. Benny Feilhaber: Midfielder, United States. Benny was born in Brazil and came to the US when he was six. You might have guessed American, but I didn't think Feilhaber was a Portuguese or Brazilian name.
8. Taye Taiwo: Defender, Nigeria. Taiwo seemed more, well, Taiwanese to me. However, it could very well be a "classic" Nigerian name. I must admit that I'm not too familiar with common Nigerian names. It just didn't quite sound as "Nigerian" as Obafemi Martins or Dickson Etuhu.
9. Alex Song: Midfielder, Cameroon. Granted, if I had put his whole name, Alexandre Song Billong, some people may have guessed his country. I'm not sure if the full name is a common Cameroon name or sounds like it's from Cameroon. But it seems closer than Alex Song.
10. Khalid Boulahrouz: Defender, Netherlands (pictured). Although he was born in the Netherlands, he's a Dutch-Muslim and his parents are from Morroco.
11. Steve Mandanda: Goalie, France. Mandanda was born in Congo but moved to France at a young age. Even though French is the official language in Congo, this doesn't sound French at all.
Just for fun, here are the starting 11 for the Classic Names Team. (Note: I'm operating on complete name stereotypes here.)
1. Bastian Schweinsteiger: Midfielder, Germany. The Captain of the team. It's every cliche German sound all rolled into one last name. Plus his first name is Bastian.
2. Grafite: Forward, Brazil. A great Brazilian soccer name. His full name is Batista Libanio Edinaldo. I'm not sure if all Brazilians go by one name or if it's an honor you get once you make the national team. There were a lot of other candidates like Kaka or Robinho. But it's hard passing up Grafite.
3. Sokratis Papastathopoulos: Defender, Greece (pictured on the right). Classic Greek name. Or so I think at least. You need a K and P somewhere in there and the last name has to be at least 15 letters long and completely unpronounceable.
4. Antonio Di Natale: Forward, Italy. One of those names where you can't help but sound Italian and even sing a little bit while saying it. You might even hold up one of your hands and touch all your fingers together as you say it.
5. Keisuke Honda: Midfielder, Japan. For an admittedly ignorant American playing the stereotype card, this is as good as it gets. The only way it could have been better was if his name was Sony Godzilla.
6. Zdravko Kuzmanovic: Midfielder, Serbia. I'm honestly not sure how uniquely Serbian this name is, but it seems to fit with things like the "Zd" combo. Actually born in Switzerland, but parents are from Serbia, so that is why he played for Serbia.
7. Kim Jung-Woo: Midfielder, South Korea. A seemingly simple and predictable Korean name.
8. Andre-Pierre Gignac: Forward, France. If someone told me to think of three French names I would have said Jacques, Andre and Pierre. This guy has two of them in his first name. Not to mention a last name that I'm sure I would completely butcher as I doubt you pronounce it how an American would read it.
9. Rafael Van der Vaart: Midfielder, Netherlands. This is more of the Dutch name you think of versus Khalid Boulahrouz. You can't get any more classic than Van der Vaart.
10. Pedro: Forward, Spain. His name is actually Pedro Rodriguez which is just about as common as John Smith.
11. Jesper Christiansen: Goalie, Denmark. I picture Jesper cruising out in the morning with his buddies Lars and Soren and grabbing a pastry.