The World Cup is the ultimate exhibition for footballing professionals. It is arguably the most significant tourney in the world of football. With Qatar 2022 coming at the twilight of the careers of this generation’s best, we took a look at some of the biggest names missing out on this year’s edition.
Erling Braut Haaland
With 21 goal involvements in 12 premier league starts this season and a further 5 in 4 UCL starts, free-scoring Erling Haaland will not have the avenue to break more records at Qatar with the Norwegian national team. Defenders can probably breathe a sigh of relief.
Since his arrival in Merseyside in 2017, the school of thought has it that he’s remained the premier league’s best player. Having lost the AFCON final this year to Sadio Mane’s Senegal, he went on to miss one of the decisive penalties that could have sent the Pharaohs to the world cup finals.
Football’s most unfortunate player always picks up injuries on the cusp of major international tournaments. The captain of the yellow and black wall has only been at one such tournament in the last 10 years (the 2018 WC). If he had better luck, he’ll probably fare better than being Borussia Dortmund’s greatest player of all time.
His unlucky injury against AC Milan reduced Gareth Southgate’s dilemma in his right-wing-back position. Blessed with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier, and Kyle Walker, it would certainly have been interesting to see who made the cut if they were all fit.
SSC Napoli and super eagles poacher looked all set to lead the line for new-look Nigeria. Unfortunately, the Black Stars of Ghana disagreed with that assumption as Thomas Partey’s deflected shot proved to be more than enough to seal the West African’s fate.
MISSING OUT ON WORLD CUP XI
(GK) Gianluigi Donnaruma, (LB) Andy Robertson, (CB)Sergio Ramos, (CB) Sven Botman, (RB) Reece James, (CM) Paul Pogba, (CM) Thiago Alcantara, (LW) Sadio Mane, (AM) Marco Reus, (RW) Mohamed Salah, (CF) Erling Haaland.
Reserves – De Gea, Alaba, Verrati, Diaz, Nkunku, Osimhen, Magalhaes, Firmino, Kvaratskhelia, Odegaard.
As this World Cup most definitely spells the last for CR7, Leo Messi, Lewandowski, and Modric amongst others, the only worthy advice is: enjoy it!