EURO 2012 kicks off tonight in Warsaw when Poland play Greece – and the Scottish national team will be represented at the three-week race to be crowned Kings of the Continent.
Allan McGregor, Scott Brown, Gary Caldwell and Co. will be watching from afar as they enjoy their summer holidays.
But national team boss Craig Levein will be right at the heart of the action, with World Cup qualifying opponents, Croatia, the main focus of his attention.
They start their Group C trio of games in Poznan on Sunday when they line up against Giovanni Trapattoni's Republic of Ireland side, Aiden McGeady, Robbie Keane, Shay Given et al.
The ebullient Slaven Bilic – who will now rely on Nikica Jelavic to lead his line after losing Ivica Olic to a hamstring injury this week – then sends his side out against Italy at the same venue on Thursday before rounding off their group games with a match against current European and World champions, Spain, in Gdansk a week on Monday.
For Levein, it is a welcome and ideal opportunity to see how different teams approach such a competition, and to see what systems and styles are trending among his international counterparts.
But even more beneficial will be the chance to watch Croatia in competitive action.
As he prepared to head to Poland, the Scotland boss said: "I'm going over to watch their first two games, against the Republic of Ireland and Italy, to see what more I can learn about them.
"It is a long time until we actually meet them in our World Cup qualifying section, a full year from now, in fact, and we're aware a lot can change between now and that game.
"So, as well as watching them here, we will be studying them in their early World Cup qualifiers against the other teams in our group to ensure we have the most up-to-date information available."
The fact Bilic has agreed to take over at Lokomotiv Moscow after this summer convinces Levein this could be the last time we see Croatia in this guise.
But key men such as Luka Modric will remain and are always worth studying.
Levein is determined that, when it comes to Brazil 2014, the Scots will be at the heart of the action and flying the flag at a major finals for the first time since France 1998.
However, even though only Croatia of our World Cup qualifying opponents have made it to Euro 2012 – they finished second to Greece in Group F, with seven wins out of 10 – Levein recognises Scotland must get off to a good start when the competition kicks off in September.
"The way the World Cup qualifying fixtures are set out, Serbia and Macedonia – who we play first in back-to-back home games – are more important to me just now than Croatia are," said Levein.
"Then it's Wales and Belgium, who we play after that, and I took the opportunity to watch Belgium play England at Wembley last weekend, and they were really good.
"That came as no surprise because so many of their players are at clubs in the Premiership, and a few more, including Eden Hazard are about to join them, so we know the quality they have.
"So Croatia are not my main focus at the moment. However, this is a very good chance to see them in competitive action because, normally, when they are playing, so are Scotland."
The absence of Olic – such a pivotal figure in their system – will demand the experienced Bilic comes up with potent plan B.
He will have to get it right from the opening match – or Levein reckons Croatia will find themselves in real trouble.
"Your opening game in any tournament, whether the World Cup or the European Championships, is always a tense affair," he explained.
"There is a fear of losing because that can rule you out of qualification before the contest has really started.
"The good thing for me is that we know the Republic of Ireland and their players well, so it will be possible to make a good comparison in this opening game."
Group C already has an intriguing look about it, with many fans desperate to see if Spain remain as potent as they have been in the last two major finals, and just as keen to see how the Italians have been affected by the latest corruption scandal which has struck right to the heart of their game.
With Trapattoni's enigmatic Irish squad – here on the back of 14 games without defeat – more than capable of spoiling anyone's party, it will be a series of matches worth the watching.
"In the opinion of most people, Spain are expected to win this group with the others fighting for second place," said Levein. "If Croatia can get through, then they will have done well.
"Normally, you would think Italy would be the favourites to hold off Croatia and the Republic of Ireland to qualify along with Spain.
"But it's clear that the Italians are not firing on all cylinders at the moment.
"So the opportunity is there for Croatia or the Republic of Ireland to make it to the quarter-finals."
However, when the dust settles in three weeks, Levein believes Casillas, Xavi, Iniesta and Torres will have held off the challenge from everyone else and added a third straight title to their impressive CV.
He said: "I still think Spain have an edge over all the other teams in the finals, and I don't believe there will be a dark horse in the competition.
"Germany and Holland look particularly strong, and I expect they will be the teams presenting the biggest challenge to Spain retaining their title."