2. Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta met a stone wall made of Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Xabi Alonso and Sergio Busquets in an attempt to make it to the national side. Arteta was a superb player, considered by many to be among David Moyes' best ever signings at Everton.
He arrived in Merseyside back in 2005, joining the Toffees on loan. His impressive spell earned him a permanent move for just £2 million. He grew in strength and stature since then and spent six years at the club. He made a total of 162 appearances for the club, scoring 27 goals and was known as a leader in the changing room. He made a move to Arsenal in 2011, where he stayed at until his retirement and captained the club in his last two seasons.
Arteta was also linked with an England call-up with serious efforts being made to have the player become an England player under a five year citizenship rule. His injury before Euro 2008 ruined the closest he had got to making the squad.
Arsene Wenger hailed his performances and influence on the game many times over the course of his career. Tim Cahill, speaking ahead of Everton's first game against Arsenal since Arteta left claimed the playmaker to being the most creative and influential player on the pitch.
Arteta was among a number of talented stars who failed to get a Spain call-up because of the Barcelona phenomenon in the late 2000s and the early part of this decade.