Which Indomitable Lions will turn up in South Africa?
On 14 June 1990, in the Italian port of Bari, a goalless and unremarkable Group B game between Cameroon and Romania was turned on its head just after the hour, and the fortunes of African football turned with it.
On came a little-known 38-year-old, his gap-toothed smile familiar to few outside Cameroon, France or those who closely followed the Indomitable Lions' previous World Cup appearance in 1982.
Seven months earlier, Roger Milla had been winding down his playing days in the island paradise of Reunion, his boyhood dream of using his footballing prowess to "make Cameroon great" having seemingly been reached when he helped them to a second Nations Cup in 1988.
But two things changed all that. A home visit to play a testimonial in December 1989 brought a sprightly two-goal display, highlighting his continuing powers, and a Milla-less Cameroon made an early Nations Cup exit just months later.
President Paul Biya issued an extraordinary decree - that the 1976 African Footballer of the Year must be included in coach Valeri Nepomniachi's final World Cup squad.
"I got a warm welcome from the younger players but the older ones, who ganged up against me, were not so happy," Milla has since said.
That all changed as he found the Romanian net 15 minutes after coming on - the World Cup's oldest scorer showing little sign of age as he wiggled his hips. Minutes later, his iconic celebration was burning into the global psyche again as Milla lashed home the winner.
After the stunning opening-day win against Argentina, the no-hopers had made the second round - and Milla an 'overnight sensation' after a quarter of a century in the game.
But more was to follow, as the super-sub scored twice against Colombia before briefly turning the quarter-final against England, winning a penalty for Cameroon's equaliser before teeing up the goal that had his side seven minutes away from the semis.
Though it was not to be, Milla had announced sub-Saharan Africa's World Cup arrival - comprehensively righting the wrongs of Zaire's 1974 disaster - with Cameroon's ground-breaking trip to the last eight helping turn the trickle of African talent to Europe into a flood.
"Thanks to football, many African countries have stability and greater representation throughout the world," Milla recalled as we met in Cape Town.
In 1990, he certainly achieved that, while also fulfilling a boyhood dream inspired by grainy images of Pele twenty years earlier.
"Back then, we didn't have TV but we did watch the reels in the local cinema," Milla smiles. "Seeing what Pele did for Brazil in 1970 gave me the desire to become a footballer and do my best to play in a World Cup. It made me want to make Cameroon great."
In time, the teenager's wild flight of fantasy eventually became so real that his hero named him as one of football's 125 all-time greats.
And like Pele, Milla had also inspired - most notably a nine-year-old entranced by the euphoria sweeping Cameroon in 1990.
Samuel Eto'o freely admits Milla was his hero and, like his inspiration, he has won the Nations Cups and the African Footballer of the Year title but - despite a sparkling array of Olympic and Champions League medals - Eto'o's World Cup CV lacks shine.
His 1998 appearance was notable for his tender age (just 17), while his solitary World Cup goal may have sunk the Saudis 1-0 in 2002 - Cameroon's sole victory since 1990 - but on both occasions the Africans crashed out early.
"What's obvious, even though no one talks about it, is that we haven't done anything since 1990," says former keeper Joseph-Antoine Bell.
So can Eto'o inspire Cameroon like Milla did in 1990? It's a moot point because for all his qualities, the Indomitable Lions skipper seldom carves open defences single-handedly as his icon did so smoothly.
What's more, coach Paul Le Guen seems unsure how best to use him.
At the Nations Cup, Eto'o played in a different attacking formation every game, sometimes playing point man, sometimes second striker - which didn't work.
With Pierre Webo and Mohamadou Idrissou lacking finishing prowess, the Inter man must surely resume his Barcelona role, especially with Achille Emana so well-suited to play behind.
But Le Guen is battling to find his best XI - his confusion clear from the nine uncapped players in his provisional squad - and forthcoming friendlies against Slovakia, Portugal and Serbia must cement his vision for a team that has constantly changed this year.
Eto'o aside, the certain starters seem to be keeper Carlos Kameni, Monaco centre-back Nicolas Nkoulou - with Spurs duo Sebastian Bassong and Benoit Assou-Ekoto also expected to feature - while the lynchpin is Alex Song who, along with Rigobert, may form only the second uncle-and-nephew combination to play together at a World Cup.
For such a relatively small and infrastructurally-deficient country, Cameroon have - fittingly for such a physical side - punched above their weight: winning four Nations Cups, one Olympics, and more World Cup appearances (six) and Footballer of the Year titles (10) than any other African nation.
But which Indomitable Lions will turn up in South Africa - those who regularly exit in the group stage or the ones who dazzled the world in 1990?