HomeInternationalHaaland, Diaz, Salah, Pogba and other biggest football's best...

Haaland, Diaz, Salah, Pogba and other biggest football’s best names we won’t see at World Cup 2022

Haaland, Diaz, Salah, Pogba and other biggest football’s best names we won’t see at World Cup 2022

The World Cup is the ultimate football competition.

It is believed that the game’s most recognizable players will put up their best efforts and help their teams reach new heights while also captivating viewers.

The 20th of November will mark the beginning of this year’s event in Qatar, although a few of the sport’s biggest stars will not be participating.

Only 32 of the 211 FIFA member states qualified for the 2022 World Cup, bringing heartbreak for players such as Erling Haaland, Mohamed Salah, and Gianluigi Donnarumma. Norway, Egypt, and Italy were among the teams that did not qualify.

Here is a list of ten players whose teams did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Due to an injury, Paul Pogba will be absent from France’s title defense in Qatar.

Erling Haaland – Norway

Erling Haaland has scored 21 goals in 23 international appearances since making his debut at the age of 19.

However, Haaland, possibly the best young striker in the world today, was only able to score five goals throughout World Cup qualifying. Norway finished third in its qualification group behind the Netherlands and Turkey with 18 points from 10 matches.

This season, the Manchester City star has been in fantastic form, being the fastest player to score 15 goals in the English Premier League (nine games).

The 22-year-old has lots of time and possibilities to make amends for missing out in 2022.

Mohamed Salah – Egypt

“I might be in Qatar during the World Cup,” Egypt’s Mohamed Salah revealed to a television channel back in August.

However, one of the greatest football players in the world will not be playing in the first World Cup held in the Middle East since his team failed to qualify.

Egypt and Salah lost two consecutive penalty shootouts against Senegal in the span of two months.

In February, they lost the final of the Africa Cup of Nations. After two legs, the World Cup qualification playoff was decided by a penalty shootout.

Egypt fell 3-1 on penalties after Salah’s penalty kick flew wide of the goal.

Salah’s participation at the 2018 World Cup in Russia was limited by injury, and he was unable to lead his team out of the group stage.

At age 30, it remains to be seen whether Salah will attempt to compete in another World Cup.

David Alaba – Austria

In addition to his eight Austrian Footballer of the Year awards and quadruple with Real Madrid in the 2021-22 season, David Alaba received his third Austrian sports personality of the year award this year.

Even though he was arguably Austria’s best footballer over the past decade, the former Bayern Munich defender has not participated in a World Cup since his country has not qualified since 1998.

The 30-year-old, who has also captained Austria, was in the starting lineup for March’s Nations League playoff match against Wales. Austria’s disappointing qualification campaign, in which they won only five of ten games, concluded with a 2-1 loss in Cardiff.

The Real Madrid defender has scored 14 goals in 96 international appearances for Austria.

Riyad Mahrez – Algeria

Riyad Mahrez, winner of the 2016 CAF African Footballer of the Year award, the 2016 Africa Cup of Nations, and the Premier League with two different clubs, has been one of the top African players in recent years.

The France-born winger was a member of Algeria’s World Cup roster in 2014, although he had little influence. 

His squad did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup, but they were on the edge of making it to Qatar until a late Cameroon goal in extra time of their playoff match eliminated them.

Algeria’s absence in Qatar could eliminate Mahrez’s ambitions of competing in a subsequent World Cup, as he will be 35 years old in four years.

Martin Odegaard – Norway

23-year-old Martin Odegaard, a leader on the field for club and nation, has made a rapid transition from youth to professional football.

At the age of 15, the Norwegian made his professional league debut and scored the youngest goal in his country’s premier division. 

A year later, Real Madrid signed him, although he continued to move between Spain and the Netherlands before settling in London with Arsenal.

Odegaard is regarded as one of the most promising young players, therefore it came as no surprise that he broke the record for the youngest player to debut for Norway’s senior team at age 15. 

The midfielder’s vision with the ball at his feet, precision with set pieces, and ability to create space have earned him accolades.

However, his team did not qualify for the World Cup despite his leadership and talent. Norway came in third place in their group. With Odegaard, Haaland, and others at their disposal, the outcome was unexpected.

 Gianluigi Donnarumma – Italy

When Gianluigi Buffon retired from international football, it was easy for Italy to identify his replacement. Gianluigi Donnarumma not only confidently replaced his namesake and idol, but also established himself as the best young goalkeeper in the world.

Donnarumma made his professional debut for AC Milan in 2015 and solidified his starting position the following season. He moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 2021.

Donnarumma began to prove himself as a worthy successor as Buffon’s career was coming to a close. In 2016, he replaced Buffon in a match and at the age of 17 became the youngest goalie to play for Italy.

Donnarumma was named the UEFA Player of the Tournament for the Euro 2020 tournament (to be contested in 2021) because of his key part in Italy’s victory.

Donnarumma will have to wait at least four more years before making his World Cup debut due to Italy’s inability to qualify for a third consecutive World Cup.

Franck Kessie – Ivory Coast

Unlike previous breakout stars from Africa, Franck Kessie’s road to the pinnacle of European club football did not begin at an early age.

The Ivorian played club football in his own country until the age of 18 before making a transfer to Italy with Atalanta. 

Once in Italy, he made his mark upon joining AC Milan where he made 223 appearances and scored 37 goals in five seasons.

Kessie became a fan favourite and was spotted among them after scoring his last goal for the team at the end of the 2021-22 season.

When Kessie departed Milan for Barcelona, it was considered as a loss for the Italian team as he played a vital role in putting Milan back to the top of Italian football.

Kessie made his Ivory Coast debut at the age of 17 and has scored seven goals in 60 international games. 

While he hasn’t played many important tournaments for the Elephants, he was the equal top-assist provider in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations where his side was knocked out in the quarter-finals.

Ivory Coast’s qualifying for the 2022 World Cup was on the line until their last match against Cameroon. 

A win or draw would have landed the Elephants in Qatar, but they were unable to score as a 21st-minute goal clinched Cameroon’s qualification and inflicted agony for Kessie and his players.

Luis Diaz – Colombia

Luis Diaz, one of the biggest talents and co-leading scorer at the Copa America 2021, has quickly become the face of Colombian football. 

He has scored eight goals in 37 international appearances since making his debut in 2018.

However, Diaz will not be able to showcase his talent in Qatar, as Colombia did not qualify for Qatar 2022 by finishing sixth in the CONMEBOL standings.

Following Colombia’s final qualification match, the 25-year-old Liverpool winger expressed his disappointment via Twitter.

“Since I was little I dreamed of wearing this shirt and wearing it with pride in a World Cup. It hurts too much not to have achieved it. I keep wanting to fight for this dream, on my part you will have my commitment and know that I will leave everything to achieve that goal. We will have revenge.”

Diaz must wait four years to determine if he will be able to live his goal.

Marco Verratti – Italy

Since he was awarded the best player in the Italian second division in 2011-12, Marco Verratti has been considered one of the top midfielders in the world.

The following year, PSG signed him, and he was immediately crowned the best young player in Ligue 1.

Soon after his ascent in club football, Verratti made his international debut for Italy at the age of 20. However, injuries and Italy’s poor performance at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 prevented him from playing at the highest level for his country.

Verratti was the central cog in Roberto Mancini’s midfield during Italy’s historic run at Euro 2020, when he completed passes with a 93 percent success rate.

Italy’s shocking loss to North Macedonia will keep Verratti and his teammates away from Qatar.

Victor Osimhen – Nigeria

Victor Osimhen is a promising young Nigerian striker, the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup Golden Boot winner, and the captain of Napoli’s attack in Serie A.

Since 2020, the 23-year-old Nigerian has established himself as one of the best strikers in Italian football, hitting 30 goals in 68 appearances for the club. Prior to playing in Italy, Osimhen played in the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg.

The Super Eagles’ star rose to prominence for the first time when he scored 10 goals in the U-17 World Cup, six more than the runner-up, and helped Nigeria win the trophy for a record fifth time.

Since making his senior team debut, Osimhen has scored 15 goals in 22 games.

Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the 2022 World Cup will prevent Osimhen from showcasing his talent at the sport’s premier competition. 

However, with age on his side, the youthful forward will undoubtedly have an opportunity to play in another World Cup if his team qualifies.

Haaland, Diaz, Salah, Pogba and other biggest football’s best names we won’t see at World Cup 2022

- Advertisement -



- Advertisement -