Jack Wilshere was named in an England starting line-up alongside Steven Gerrard for the first time as Roy Hodgson's men began a year they hope will end in World Cup qualification with a Wembley friendly against hosts Brazil.
The partnership has been two-and-a-half years in the making given Wilshere made his debut in August 2010, only for injury to rule either him or Gerrard out of action.
The pair did eventually find themselves on the same pitch last November, although they had only 13 minutes together before Gerrard was substituted.
On the 55th anniversary of the Munich tragedy, Hodgson selected four Manchester United players, with Chris Smalling and Tom Cleverley joining attacking duo Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney.
With Theo Walcott also selected, it appeared Hodgson was meeting the most adventurous side in world football with attacking intent.
As Hodgson confirmed yesterday, Ashley Cole became the seventh player to win 100 England caps, a feat made even more remarkable by the fact he has started every single game.