By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Cheick Tiote has been named in Ivory Coast's provisional 28-man squad for next month's World Cup in Brazil.
The midfielder, who made 35 appearances for the Magpies in all competitions this term, also starred for his nation at the 2010 competition, although the Elephants failed to make it out of the group stage.
This year, Ivory Coast face Colombia, Greece and Japan in Group C, and Tiote is one of four Barclays Premier League players in the squad - along with Yaya Toure (Manchester City), Kolo Toure (Liverpool) and Wilfried Bony (Swansea).
Coach Sabri Lamouchi has until Monday, 2nd June, to name a final 23-man squad for the tournament.
Tiote is the second United star to be named in a World Cup squad, after Shola Ameobi was called up to Nigeria's 30-man party.
Ivory Coast squad in full
Goalkeepers: Boubacar Barry (Lokeren), Sylvain Gbohouo (Sewe Sport), Ali Sangare Badra (Asec Mimosas), Sayouba Sande (Stabaek)
Defenders: Kolo Toure (Liverpool), Sol Bamba (Trabzonspor), Didier Zokora (Trabzonspor), Serge Aurier (Toulouse), Arthur Boka (Stuttgart), Benjamin Angoua (Valenciennes), Ousmane Viera Diarrassouba (Caykur Rizespor), Constant Djakpa (Frankfurt), Brice Dja Djedje (Marseille), Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro (Toulouse)
Midfielders: Yaya Toure (Manchester City), Cheick Tiote (Newcastle), Serey Die (Basel), Max Gradel (Saint Etienne), Diomande Ismael (Saint Etienne), Didier Ya Konan (Hannover), Mathis Bolly (Dusseldorf)
Forwards: Gervinho (Roma), Didier Drogba (Galatasaray), Salomon Kalou (Lille), Wilfried Bony (Swansea), Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow), Lacina Traore (Everton), Giovanni Sio (Basel)