The last time England played France at Wembley it was 1999, and the visiting world champions boasted the following starting XI:
Barthez, Thuram, Blanc, Desailly, Lizarazu, Pires, Zidane, Deschamps, Petit, Djorkaeff, Anelka.
On Wednesday night those legendary names will be succeeded by the likes of Rami, M'Vila and Valbuena. They will be selected by one of the legends, Laurent Blanc.
In one sense, Blanc's untested, experimental and frankly weak side is a mark of how far Les Bleus have fallen.
But perhaps Blanc's bold renovation of the national team shows the path England might have taken but chose not to.
France are not complete unknowns, of course. Likely starters Hugo Lloris, Bacary Sagna amd Yoann Gourcuff were at the World Cup, while Philippe Mexes and Karim Benzema play for two of Europe's biggest clubs.
Yet there is no denying the scope of Blanc's project, which began with a bold statement of intent as he banned every member of the World Cup squad for one match (or more).
This after the squad disintegrated in front of the world's astonished eyes in South Africa - Nicolas Anelka's bust-up with Raymond Domenech sparking a chain of events that led to a mutiny on the team bus, and two humiliating defeats.
France's World Cup was so lamentable, they basically had no choice but to tear down the whole edifice and start again from scratch.
No more Henry, no more Anelka, no more Govou, Cisse or Gallas. Franck Ribery is an injury liability, Patrice Evra is still banned. The big names are thin on the ground.
Are they going to win Euro 2012? Almost certainly not.
But nor would the other lot. They had a chance in the summer and blew it, and they are not getting younger.
What Blanc's system does is allow the best of the youngsters to emerge, while the others can be identified and discarded.
The core of the team can develop an understanding and grow comfortable playing with each other - an invaluable quality showed by Germany and Spain, many of whom have played together from the youth ranks.
England do not have the option to do this because of the situation with their manager. Fabio Capello leaves his post after Euro 2012, and his job in the meantime is to win football matches.
Naturally, he is going to pick the best players available, which means Ferdinand, Gerrard, Cole and all the other old stagers who will be in their mid-30s come Brazil 2014. But Capello has no interest in 2014, since he will no longer be in the job.
Capello's brief is to pick the strongest side he can. And there can be no serious argument that Henderson is better than Gerrard, Smalling better than Ferdinand or Gibbs better than Cole.
But what if you say: "We don't want the best players"?
What if you say: "We want the players who have the best chance at the next World Cup"?
The likes of Jordan Henderson and Andy Carroll have only got their shot against France thanks to an injury crisis of biblical proportions. Only when Rooney, Defoe, Bent and Zamora are injured does Carroll get a crack.
Likewise, Henderson owes his inclusion to injuries to Lampard and Huddlestone, and Paul Scholes's eminently wise decision not to return to the England team.
Blanc is giving his team the best chance of success at the 2014 World Cup, even if that means they lose at Wembley.
England's continued employment of a lame duck coach might mean they reach the last four of Euro 2012 instead of the last 16. But they are doing so at the cost of long-term gain.
England 'a la Blanc' (assuming all players fit)
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Ben Foster, Robert Green
Defenders: Glen Johnson, Micah Richards, Michael Dawson, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Ashley Cole, Kieran Gibbs
Midfielders: James Milner, Aaron Lennon, Jordan Henderson, Jack Wilshere, Tom Huddlestone, Fabrice Muamba, Ashley Young, Adam Johnson
Forwards: Wayne Rooney, Andy Carroll, Darren Bent, Theo Walcott
Good? Not at the moment. But in 2014 - maybe...
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Follow Alex Chick on Twitter: @alexchick81