In Sunday's EFL Cup final, Manchester City and Arsenal will field goalkeepers boasting more than 200 caps between them for two of South America's heavyweight footballing nations.
Their medal collections cover major competitions at domestic, continental and global level for clubs spanning five countries.
Such experience and pedigree is not easily found or won, yet Claudio Bravo and David Ospina will walk out at Wembley viewed as their team's weak link.
They are victims of circumstance, some poor performances and a now common trend among leading clubs – namely that they must have second-choice goalkeepers of a calibre that automatically means they will, to a greater or lesser extent, be deeply unhappy at being second-choice goalkeepers.
Their selection at the weekend, Bravo ahead of quickly established City favourite Ederson and Ospina in favour of veteran Arsenal keeper Petr Cech, is primarily a result of Pep Guardiola and Arsene Wenger being men of their word, keeping their side of an uneasy truce.
"It's always a difficult decision, but I think we are clear about that since the start of the season," Wenger said when explaining Cech's Wembley watching brief.
"[Ospina] played in the whole competition. I have two world-class goalkeepers and I decided from the start to have clarity in the way we play and I will continue that."
Similarly, Guardiola considers there is barely a debate to be had over Bravo's status in City's final line-up, especially given he starred in penalty shoot-out wins over Wolves and Leicester City.
"Claudio is going to play. We are in the EFL Cup final thanks to him," said the Catalan.
"The goalkeeper is a different position to the other team-mates. It all depends on the performances and the quality but in this competition we are going to play Claudio."
The inherent difference of goalkeeping – its solitary and distant nature when compared to football's other tasks – identified by Guardiola is underscored in this instance by Bravo and Ospina's selections being entirely separate to those of their team-mates.
City and Arsenal's other 10 players will be picked because they are seen as the best men to do the job in their position and most likely to secure the season's first piece of silverware. Bravo and Ospina are clearly not; it is merely their turn to have a go again, casting them as charity cases in the midst of a cut-throat elite sporting occasion.
It is not a status that can possibly sit comfortably with men of their calibre, but one they have accepted because of the rewards days like Sunday. City and Arsenal are both out of the FA Cup, meaning the winner and loser may not play again this season.
Colombia international Ospina, who may still have the rest of Arsenal's Europa League campaign to fall back on, made his debut for Nacional in his homeland as a 17-year-old sensation. By 19, he was a full international and on his way to Nice and six seasons in France's top flight.
Bravo, 34, is a cap centurion with Chile and was also the shoot-out hero as they twice saw off Lionel Messi's Argentina in the 2015 and 2016 Copa America finals – his country's only major tournament triumphs. He was impregnable from 12 yards as Portugal exited last year's Confederations Cup in similar fashion.
By that time, however, a nightmare debut season at City where he only saved 57.5 per cent of shots faced had been endured. Bravo encouraged poise from defenders akin to a litter of kittens on the warmest metal roof. Ederson is not the only reason City are vastly better this term, but it is an improvement that damns Bravo's involvement in what went before.
Since Cech's arrival in 2015, Ospina's occasional Arsenal outings have not always inspired confidence. Carrying a corner over his line in a Champions League defeat to Olympiacos is not an ordeal the 29-year-old has entirely managed to leave behind.
English football has meant unfamiliar struggles, jolting Bravo and Ospina's careers of consistent high achievement. Their very presence at Wembley goes against the grain of the meritocracy fundamental to sport's showpieces, but it is unfair to cast them as joke figures. They have been heroes on the biggest stages before; do not be surprised if either grasps that mantle this weekend.
It would be impossible to begrudge either of these accomplished performers their moment in the sun before they retreat uncomfortably to the role of unused substitute – a cold and unforgiving place to occupy at any level of their famously lonely profession.
18 de junio 2018
|Lewandowski sets an example - Nawalka talks up Poland star|
|Runners and Ryders: Koepka shines at Shinnecock Hills as European list sees major changes|
|Mature and patient Belgium show success could be on horizon|
|Salah facing fitness test ahead of Russia v Egypt|
|South Korea´s Park has suspected hamstring tear|
|Sweden hero Granqvist full of praise for VAR|
|Iran v Spain: Isco impressed with Hierro´s seamless adaptation|
|Belgium 3 Panama 0: Mertens magic sets up Group G win|
|Jorginho has ´five-year Man City deal waiting´|
|Wolves sign Portugal goalkeeper Patricio|
|Pekerman criticises Barcelona´s treatment of Yerry Mina|
|Neymar misses Brazil World Cup training|
|FIFA opens disciplinary proceedings over alleged Mexico homophobic chants|
|Cisse hoping to be a pioneer for black and African coaches|
|World Cup over for Croatia´s Kalinic|
|Defiant Jones confident of upturn in England fortunes|
|Pogba a natural leader for France - Matuidi|
|Frampton to face Jackson as Fury continues comeback in Belfast|
|Team effort needed for Japan to stop James, says Nishino|
|Di Francesco extends Roma contract|
|It was a normal challenge - Switzerland equaliser fine by Shaqiri|
|Hamilton hopes to avoid ´boring´ French Grand Prix|
|Coutinho expects more Neymar punishment at World Cup|
|Cisse hails Mane as ´one of the best players in the world´|
|Forsberg falls flat as Granqvist proves Sweden´s hero|
|Sweden 1 South Korea 0: Granqvist´s VAR-assisted penalty settles tight game|
|Nishino concerned Japan players affected by Osaka earthquake|
|Isco pleased with Lopetegui´s Real Madrid appointment|
|Hazard hints at Real Madrid interest|
|Wasps disappointed as Wilson joins Scotland backroom staff|
|Hierro has full confidence in De Gea|
|Russia will stop Salah - Cherchesov|
|Allen signs new four-year Stoke contract|
|England issue update over injured duo Stokes and Woakes|
|Mancini leaves door open for Buffon´s Italy return|
|Alli calls for England to be ruthless in World Cup opener|
|Tahir rested as Proteas call up uncapped duo|
|Uruguay v Saudi Arabia: Centurion Suarez seeks World Cup redemption|
|Portugal v Morocco: Hat-trick hero Ronaldo hunts stricken Atlas Lions|
|Argentina didn´t draw because of Messi´s missed penalty - Maradona|
|Wenger heaps praise on France star Kante|
|If VAR helps referees, I´m not against that – Australia´s Sainsbury|
|Kimmich questions Germany mentality after shock defeat|
|Roberts to leave Warrington Wolves|
|Australia talent Arzani ready to make the jump from A-League|
|Lewandowski: I can be at the top until I´m 35|
|All Blacks winger Savea confirms Toulon switch|
|Free Fall available for France after red card rescinded|
|South Korea can progress from wide-open group, says Park Ji-sung|
|Gordon called up by Wallabies to replace injured Genia|
|Germany can still win World Cup, insists Werner|
|Man United & Real Madrid talk not affecting Milinkovic-Savic|
|Out-of-contract Ruiz focused on Costa Rica|
|Southgate will not bombard England with last-minute instructions|
|Muller: Germany under extreme pressure|
|Rangers score four runs in ninth to pick up walk-off win over Rockies|
|U.S. Open champion Koepka happy to continue being ´overlooked´|
|Pogba: I´m the most criticised player in the world|
|Maradona: Sampaoli´s game plan against Iceland was a disgrace|
|De Gea will bounce back from error – Marchena|
|Slater named for Maroons return|
|Woods, Faldo, Harrington and Koepka – U.S. Open champion joins fine club after successful defence|
|Fleetwood positive despite falling short at U.S. Open|
|Jesus: I had no reason to play for a penalty|
|Hernandez admits to exaggerating fouls against Australia|
|Koepka says winning two U.S. Opens not even in his ´wildest dreams´|
|Hernandez: Griezmann an idol at Atletico|
|Sri Lanka take charge despite Gabriel exploits|
|U.S. Open final-round timeline: How clinical Koepka kept his crown|
|Koepka fights off challengers to successfully defend U.S. Open title|