A number of players who will be turning out at the European Championship could have represented African sides if they had so desired. In goal for a team that could have contested the Africa Cup of Nations is France goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, with the Marseille stopper having been born in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, in 1985.
At right-back for the African XI is the Czech Republic's Theodor Gebre Selassie, whose father is from Ethiopia. The Liberec defender played four times for the Czech Republic in their qualifying campaign, including both legs of the play-off win over Montenegro. Germany's Jerome Boateng, whose father is from Ghana and whose brother Kevin-Prince has played for the Black Stars, is another option at right-back.
Torino centre-back Angelo Ogbonna is in the Italy squad but could have played for Nigeria, where his parents are from. Born in Cassino in 1988, Ogbonna has represented the country of his birth at youth level but has yet to force his way into coach Cesare Prandelli's starting line-up - even though he is on the radar of a number of European clubs.
France's Adil Rami (right) could play alongside Ogbonna at centre-back. Aged 26, the Valencia defender rejected the chance to play for Morocco, where his parents are from, before making his debut for Laurent Blanc's side in the Norway friendly that followed the 2010 World Cup debacle. Rami played nine of France's 10 qualifiers for Euro 2012.
Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra completes the 'African' defence - with the former France captain having been born in Dakar before moving to Paris with his father, who worked as a diplomat. The 30-year-old will be keen to bounce back from a poor World Cup in South Africa where he took part in the infamous player revolt, ultimately earning a five-match ban.
Manchester United's Nani is one of two players in the Portugal squad who could have played for the tiny island nation of Cape Verde. The winger, 25, spent his infancy on the islands before moving to the Portuguese capital Lisbon. Fellow squad member Rolando, a defender with Porto, was also born in Cape Verde, a collection of islands with a population of 500,000.
Midfielder Sami Khedira started 20 games for Spanish champions Real Madrid this season and is set to be a key man for Germany at Euro 2012, just as he was at the World Cup two years ago. However, the 25-year-old could have been called up by Tunisia, the North African nation where his father comes from.
Defensive midfielder Yann M'Vila has established himself in the France team since Laurent Blanc took over as coach following the disastrous 2010 World Cup. M'Vila's father comes from Congo Brazzaville and also played football in France, albeit at a lower level than his son - whose performances with Rennes have reportedly been attracting the attention of Arsenal.
Despite spending most of the season on the substitutes' bench at Spanish giants Barcelona, Ibrahim Afellay is part of the Netherlands squad heading to Euro 2012. The wideman strongly considered playing for Morocco, where his parents come from, but decided to represent the country of his birth five years ago - going on to play at the 2010 World Cup.
Controversial Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has decided to honour his roots by having his Ghanaian and Italian surnames on his shirt for Euro 2012 and so will play with 'Barwuah Balotelli' on his back. He was born in Palermo to Ghanaian parents, whose relatives live in the central Brong Ahafo region in Ghana, but was later adopted by an Italian family.
Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck scored his first goal for England against Belgium in a warm-up game for Euro 2012 earlier this month. He made his England debut in March 2011 against Ghana, the country who had tried to persuade him to play for them because of his parentage. The 21-year-old's full name is Daniel Nii Tackie Mensah Welbeck.
On the subs' bench. From left to right: Jores Okore of Denmark (eligible for Ivory Coast); Jerome Boateng of Germany (Ghana); Rolando of Portugal (Cape Verde); Khalid Boulahrouz of the Netherlands (Morocco) and Frenchmen Blaise Matuidi (Angola), Samir Nasri (Algeria), Alou Diarra (Mali), Karim Benzema (Algeria) and Hatem Ben Arfa (Tunisia). All photos from Getty Images.