Some countries are in the World Cup so often that you can’t imagine a tournament without them.
You know the ones. Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, the United St… actually just those three. Oh, and Germany and Italy, so much so that the latter seem to already have a glorious kit lined up before even confirming their place.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming qualifying for the World Cup is no big deal, and indeed for some countries it isn’t.
But for others, it’s massive. Take Iceland, for example, who made the tournament for the first ever time after topping a tough group ahead of Croatia, Ukraine and Turkey.
Or Panama, who leapfrogged the United States at the last thanks to this goal from Roman Torres against Costa Rica.
Torres’ goal came with just three minutes to play, but Panama knew not to rest on their laurels.
Four years ago, with a play-off place in their grasp, they conceded two stoppage-time goals against the USA.
Panama sent out their substitutes to warm up after Torres’ goal, and we’re sure they were aware of the gravity of the situation even if they weren’t involved against the US.
So, when Costa Rica were awarded a late throw-in in a dangerous position, this guy – who we’re pretty sure is a sub rather than a ball-boy, despite the caption – took no chances.
Normally when we talk about super-subs, we’re referring to players who come off the bench to score crucial goals or contribute meaningful assists.
Occasionally it can be a goalkeeping substitution, like Tim Krul’s introduction for the Netherlands against Costa Rica during the last World Cup in Brazil.
But now we’ve got another example to add to the list, and this is what football is all about.
He better be on the plane to Russia, even if he isn’t going to play a single minute.
(Images: Rex Features/Twitter)