Brazil, Germany, Spain and France. In that order. Maybe Argentina and Portugal, because Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Oh, and Belgium. They have a golden generation. England? Ha, no way.
That was most people's response when asked who the teams to watch would be at the World Cup.
A fortnight into the tournament and two sides largely neglected - at least outside of home shores - have stolen the spotlight.
Croatia stated their intention to do more than gallantly challenge a powerhouse before bowing out, Zlatko Dalic's men accounting first for Nigeria and then humiliating Argentina.
Mexico have announced themselves in a different order, stunning Germany with their opening remarks by beating the holders 1-0 in Moscow.
And to prove that result was no fluke, Juan Carlos Osorio's resurgent team overcame the admirable test posed by South Korea, traditionally one of Asia's strongest nations, albeit not enjoying their finest vintage in 2018, in Rostov-on-Don on Saturday.
Shin Tae-yong, the head coach of the Taeguk Warriors, had been worried about the weather for the match on the banks of the Don River, the temperature having risen sharply in comparison to the team's training base near St Petersburg.
But some welcome cloud cover and a steady breeze blowing in from the steppe offered more palatable conditions to those endured in the game of walking football that was forced upon Uruguay and Saudi Arabia here.
Instead, it was Mexico who made South Korea feel the heat.
Right from kick-off, Osorio's players, marshalled expertly by captain Andres Guardado, used the ball intelligently, passing crisply and probing for weaknesses.
Hirving Lozano, touted for a move to the Premier League in the wake of his winning goal against Germany, demonstrated his other qualities by tracking back to dispossess a dawdling Ju Se-jong in the 15th minute, and that set the tone for a Mexico performance defined by a decisive combination of industry and invention.
Guardado's partner Hector Herrera robbed Hwang Hee-chan of the ball three minutes later and the trend continued, a turnover in central midfield leading to the move that allowed Carlos Vela to score from the penalty spot following Jang Hyun-soo's handball.
South Korea, in desperate need of points, were obliged to search for an equaliser after the break and while chances duly followed, they arrived at both ends.
Javier Hernandez finished off one of the increasingly numerous counter-attacking opportunities presented to Mexico by their opponents' desperation, with Son Heung-min's stunning consolation goal arriving too late to save Shin's side.
Mexico haven't reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup since 1986 on home soil, bowing out in the round of 16 in the last six tournaments in succession, a hoodoo the team, their supporters and the country's football media are only too aware of.
It remains to be seen if the balanced, effective outfit Osorio has conjured out of what had until recently been a maddeningly inconsistent team is capable of ending that sequence, particularly given Brazil could yet lie in wait next.
But the qualities on display against South Korea, namely the versatility required to switch seamlessly from dictating terms to pouncing on the break, should serve El Tri well in their quest to end the last-eight curse.
|Mourinho sacking changes things – Tuchel|
|Nets top Lakers in Brooklyn, extend winning streak to six games|
|LeBron on Lakers potentially acquiring Davis: That would be amazing|
|Rain helps Sri Lanka claim draw against New Zealand|
|Mourinho had to ´take the consequences´, says Klopp|
|Ausilio: Icardi has offer on table, won´t be sold to Juve|
|Chargers lead NFL Pro Bowl selections, Brees named NFC starting QB|
|Pro Bowl 2019: Chargers lead NFL with 7 selections, Drew Brees named NFC starting QB|
|Savea re-signs with All Blacks, Hurricanes|
|Flanagan facing de-registration as Sharks, Tigers cop huge fines|
|Napoli rejected £95m offer for Koulibaly amid United links – De Laurentiis|
|Kovac feels for axed United boss Mourinho|
|Rabiot, we do not need you – PSG fans respond to wantaway midfielder|
|Guardiola hails assured debut from Man City youngster Garcia|
|He´s very happy at Tottenham – Arsenal boss Emery wants Pochettino to reject Manchester United|
|Rams sign RB C.J. Anderson|
|Good luck with the Red Devils - Norway PM´s message for Solskjaer|
|Pogba was ´dancing on the grave´ of Mourinho - Neville|
|Solskjaer set to replace Mourinho after Man United gaffe|
|City signing Steffen up to Guardiola´s goalkeeper demands, says Berhalter|
|Mourinho is so strong - Guardiola backing for fallen rival|
|Mourinho? Ausilio dismisses Inter return after United sacking|
|Whyte needs to raise his game to beat Chisora again - Haye|
|Brussino leads late Tenerife rally as Venezia down Holon|
|Orleans 1 Paris Saint-Germain 2: Super sub Diaby sends holders through|
|Leicester City 1 Manchester City 1 (1-3 on penalties): Muric stands tall in poor shoot-out|
|Middlesbrough 0 Burton Albion 1: League One side reach semi-finals|
|Bologna 0 AC Milan 0: Bakayoko sent off as Inzaghi claims point against former side|
|Fortuna Dusseldorf 2 Borussia Dortmund 1: Bundesliga leaders suffer shock first loss|
|Rivera yet to make a call on sitting Panthers QB Newton|
|Pulisic would thrive in Premier League, but Berhalter expects Dortmund stay|
|Raptors coach Nurse fined by NBA for criticising referees|
|Solari ´loves´ struggling Real Madrid star Isco|
|Mourinho sacked: Pogba, Lukaku, Fred and his other Man United signings rated|
|Mourinho sacked: What does it mean for Manchester United players?|
|Ibrahimovic provides short-term pain, long-term gain for US - Berhalter|
|River Plate 2 Al Ain 2 (aet, 4-5 on penalties): Perez misses decisive spot kick|
|De Bruyne and Aguero back for City, surprise debut for Garcia|
|Uncapped Varun ´panicked a little´ after huge IPL deal|
|Replays scrapped for FA Cup fifth round|
|Pochettino readies big guns for Gunners|
|Ex-Wasps star Wade struggling with NFL transition|
|BCCI rejects ´baseless´ claims over Kohli-Paine ´banter´|
|Ibrahimovic re-signs with LA Galaxy for 2019|
|Mourinho sacked: Solari not worried for Real Madrid job|
|Mourinho sacked: 895 days and more than £700,000 in five-star luxury|
|ES Tunis 1 Guadalajara 1 (6-5 on penalties): Dhaouadi holds nerve to settle ill-tempered affair|
|Murphy lands permanent Tigers role|
|Mourinho sacked: Real Madrid´s Marcelo lauds ´great coach´ after United exit|
|Unadkat, Varun the top buys at IPL auction|
|Emery prepared to give youth a chance in north London derby|
|Tottenham extend Vertonghen contract until 2020|
|Panthers safety Reid receives seventh random drug test of 2018|
|Kovac relishing Klopp challenge in Champions League|
|Bancroft to return, teenager Lamichhane to fly the flag for Nepal in Big Bash|
|Liverpool still have plenty of work to do - Klopp|
|Messi ´never imagined´ his success after winning record fifth Golden Shoe|
|WATCH: Timberwolves´ Gibson tries to block shot with his trainer|
|Mourinho sacked: Klopp praises departed Manchester United boss|
|Mourinho sacked: Jose the best Manchester United manager since Ferguson - Gerrard|
|Mourinho sacked: Ferdinand calls for ´fresh ideas´ at Man United|
|Mourinho sacked: The mystique has gone as United spell ends in divorce|
|´He´s an interest not only for us but for many´ - Zola praises rumoured Chelsea target Wilson|
|Mourinho sacked: Pochettino focused on Spurs amid Manchester United rumours|
|Mendis eyes double-century for departing Samaraweera|
|Mourinho sacked: Zola expects Jose to be in another job ´soon´|
|Mourinho sacked: Five reasons it went wrong at Manchester United|
|Mourinho sacked: Jose´s Manchester United record in Opta stats|
|Mourinho sacked: Pogba, Ronaldo and Jose´s biggest bust-ups|
|Mourinho sacked: Blanc, Solskjaer - the men who could steady the United ship short-term|