South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has left striker Benni McCarthy out of his final World Cup squad.
McCarthy had an injury-interrupted Premier League season with Blackburn Rovers and West Ham, but his omission still comes as a surprise.
Brazilian Parreira told a news conference here: “I am not going to talk about individuals who did not make the final squad. We applied five principles when making our choices.
“This is not the end of the road for the five footballers whose dreams I have cut short. There will be other opportunites to play for the national team,” he insisted.
McCarthy played in only one of four of South Africa’s warm-up matches last month, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 2-1 victory over Colombia at Soccer City last Thursday.
There were several other surprises as the squad was cut from 28 players to 23 with uncapped goalkeeper Shuaib Walters from Maritzburg United getting the nod over Germany-based Rowen Fernandez.
Bryce Moon was considered the likeliest deputy rightback behind Siboniso Gaxa but the role went to Anele Ngcongca.
Goalkeepers: Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates), Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Shuaib Walters (Maritzburg Utd)
Defenders: Matthew Booth and Siboniso Gaxa (Mamelodi Sundowns), Bongani Khumalo (SuperSport Utd), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa/ISR), Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth/ENG, capt), Anele Ngcongca (Racing Genk/BEL), Siyabonga Sangweni (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Lucas Thwala (Pirates)
Midfielders: Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Siphiwe Tshabalala (Chiefs), Lance Davids (Ajax Cape Town), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Fulham/ENG), Thanduyise Khuboni (Arrows), Teko Modise (Pirates), Surprise Moriri (Sundowns), Steven Pienaar (Everton/ENG), Macbeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan/RUS)
Strikers: Katlego Mphela (Sundowns), Siyabonga Nomvete (Moroka Swallows), Bernard Parker (Twente/HOL).