Russell Latapy (T&T)

Russell Latapy, the long-serving ‘little magician’ in midfield, has announced that he will retire following the Caribbean nation’s first FIFA World Cup finals appearance. Thirty-eight in April, Latapy does not exactly have the same old spring in his step. known as ‘Stompy’ or ‘Latas’, he will most likely be the oldest outfield player in Germany. Latapy, who is now player-coach with Scottish club Falkirk, is still a highly effective presence in the middle of the park. He even picked up the 2005 Scottish First Division Player of the Year award for the role. His vision in the middle has made him ranking among the most important members of his club and national team. Some even claim the Trinidadian to be the most gifted playmaker in the Scottish game.

Chris Birchall (T&T)

Germany 2006 will be a whirl of firsts for midfielder Chris Birchall. The first white player to line up for T&T in their country’s first finals, English-born ‘Chrissy’ will also be the first-ever Port Vale player to kick a ball at a World Cup. Named in Leo Beenhakker’s provisional finals squad, Birchall is virtually assured a spot. Having long since given up on dreams of playing for the country of his birth, the midfielder has somehow found his way on to the world’s biggest stage with T&T. And in a dramatic twist, he will get the chance to play against his beloved

England when the two sides meet in Group B.