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.
|Stone: I had no idea what my score was!|
|The Open: A look back at Van de Velde´s Carnoustie calamity|
|Rakitic proud of ´brother´ Modric´s Golden Ball award|
|Serena can surpass Court, but Graf was the real target - Krajicek|
|Ronaldo moved to remain motivated - Kaka|
|Silva confident on Everton transfer targets|
|Golden Boot winner Kane aims to break August hoodoo|
|NFL training camp 2018: Contract holdouts and where they stand|
|Guardiola took me to another level - Alaba|
|Madrid selling Ronaldo a ´historic error´ - Calderon|
|MLS Review: LAFC, Atlanta held at home|
|Stones will watch re-runs of England´s World Cup matches|
|Ferdinand challenges Mourinho to unleash Pogba at United|
|Mbappe: I´m staying at PSG|
|Former NHL goalie Ray Emery found dead|
|Pirates secure five-game sweep of Brewers with walk-off win|
|WATCH: LeBron receives standing ovation at Lakers´ summer league game|
|Tony Romo wins celebrity-filled American Century Championship|
|McGregor praises Putin after attending World Cup final|
|Open-bound Kim claims maiden title with eight-shot triumph|
|Eagles running back Sproles plans to retire after next season|
|World Cup winner Rami retires from international football|
|Wimbledon champion Djokovic did not expect grand slam glory so soon|
|Ibrahimovic praises Pogba after World Cup final display|
|Wimbledon diary: Avengers too late for an Infinity War as Djokovic triumphs|
|Deschamp-agne – France´s 2018 vintage interrupt news conference to drench coach|
|I may have to dust my boots off! - Pele threatened by Mbappe exploits|
|WATCH: Mendy and Pogba dab with president Macron after World Cup win|
|Woods embracing ´different´ Carnoustie challenge ahead of Open return|
|Argentina dismiss Sampaoli after chaotic World Cup|
|France celebrates World Cup triumph|
|Djokovic made ´improvised Wimbledon trophies´ as a boy|
|Stone goes agonisingly close to 59 as Pepperell & Dantorp also make Open|
|Outcast Benzema delights in France win|
|Final a triumph in itself given Croatia´s off-field turmoil|
|Anderson laments Wimbledon final nerves|
|Deschamps joins elite club, Mbappe second to Pele - the best stats from the World Cup final|
|Belgium´s Courtois wins World Cup Golden Glove|
|Collarbone fracture confirmed for ´devastated´ Porte|
|World Cup final player ratings: Griezmann, Mbappe inspire France as Croatia fall short|
|World Cup winner Giroud ends tournament without shot on target|
|Modric wins World Cup Golden Ball|
|Mbappe wins World Cup Young Player award|
|Deschamps redeemed as France win World Cup final for the ages|
|France 4 Croatia 2: Twitter Report|
|Tomlin optimistic over Bell contract|
|Kane wins World Cup Golden Boot|
|Ajax keen on Blind deal - Van der Sar|
|France 4 Croatia 2: Pogba and Mbappe seal thrilling World Cup triumph|
|Anderson would have played another 21 hours to reach Wimbledon final|
|Djokovic delighted to crown ´comeback´ with Wimbledon glory|
|World Cup final interrupted by pitch invaders - Pussy Riot claim responsibility|
|Djokovic´s grass-court U-turn pays ultimate dividends with Wimbledon title|
|Mandzukic makes World Cup history with early own goal|
|Dominant Djokovic beats Anderson to regain Wimbledon title|
|Everybody said I´m done - Degenkolb revels in first Tour victory|
|´Big party´ for Marquez after Sachsenring success|
|Hazard enjoys Belgium´s welcome home|
|Ex-AC Milan president Berlusconi conflicted over Ronaldo to Juventus|
|Spain did not contact Martinez over head coach vacancy|
|Maybe the VAR was watching The Simpsons! - RSL coach Petke slams MLS officials|
|Cubs´ Darvish hopes to return by next weekend|
|France and Croatia name unchanged sides for World Cup final|
|Marquez maintains Sachsenring dominance|
|Courtois claims World Cup has boosted his value|
|Buffon beaten on difficult PSG debut|
|Vince called up for Headingley decider|
|Farah inspires Tigers win over Dragons, Warriors and Roosters triumph|
|Crash forces Porte out of Tour for second year running|
|Ronaldo considered Napoli move, says De Laurentiis|