Russia 2018: 11 players who’ve missed out on the World Cup

Russia 2018: 11 players who’ve missed out on the World Cup

World Cup

11 players who’ve missed out on the World Cup

The greatest show on earth is drawing ever closer and we’ve nearly discovered the identities of the 32 teams that will make up the 2018 World Cup in Russia. 23 nations have been confirmed with some of the worlds heavyweights ready to do battle in Europe next summer. The likes of Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Portugal, England and reigning champions Germany will be battling it out for the honour of being named the worlds best but there’s also been some very notable additions. Have you chosen your favourites yet? If so, and you fancy putting your money where your mouth is, then be sure to check out our international betting tips page. The likes of Wales, Austria, Netherlands and two time Copa America winners Chile have all missed out, to the amazement of many.

This means that some of the worlds best players will miss out on an appearance at the finals which will be incredibly damaging to them and their supporters. We’ve taken a look at all the teams to have failed to qualify for the World Cup and built up an XI which looks incredibly strong. We’ve picked ONE player per nation and we reckon if they were an actual team they could go very far! So read below to see how makes the cut in our XI of players to have missed out on the World Cup.

World Cup Missing XI

GK: Jan Oblak (Slovenia)

Between the sticks is Atletico Madrid & Slovenia goalkeeper Jan Oblak. The 24 year-old is regarded as one of the finest goalkeepers in the game despite being so young but he will unfortunately be spending the summer at home. His Slovenia side finished fourth in Group F, stopping Scotland from qualifying after drawing with them on a pulsating final match day (2-2). But despite finishing down in fourth, they conceded just seven goals – a total that was only bettered by group winners England which is a huge testament to the ability of Oblak. It will be a huge blow for him to miss out, but with age on his side he should get the opportunity to play on the biggest stage of all at some stage in his career.

World Cup Russia

RB: Antonio Valencia (Ecuador)

Coming in at right back is Manchester United man Antonio Valencia who’s established himself as one of the finest full-backs in world football over the last few seasons. His Ecuador side were never one of the favourites to qualify for the World Cup in a hugely competitive South American group, and they eventually fell way short. They finished six points behind Peru who claimed the intercontinental play-off spot (5th) on goal difference, with a terrible end to the campaign stopping Ecuador from catching them. Followers of the Premier League will know just how good Valencia has been recently and his rampaging runs down the right will be missed.

CB: Giorgio Chiellini (Italy)

There’s been heavyweight omissions from next summers World Cup but not many come bigger than four-time winners Italy. Gian Piero Ventura’s men were heavily expected by many to make it through into the tournament but they failed in the play-offs against Sweden – missing out on a spot in the finals for the first time since 1958. They have some top talent in their squad and there’s so many we could’ve put in but we’ve opted for Juventus defensive lynchpin Giorgio Chiellini who’s established himself as one of the worlds best centre-halves despite him entering the twilight of his career. The 33 year-old is vastly experienced and he’d walk into pretty much any side at club or international level, so his absence along with the rest of his teammates will be felt heavily in Russia.

CB: Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands)

Perhaps one of the biggest shocks in qualifying came in Group F in Europe, with 2010 runners-up and 2014 semi-finalists Netherlands failing to secure a top two finish. They finished behind second placed Sweden on goal difference which has begun an inquest into the national team, with many supporters angered. They have an awful lot of talent at their disposal, but one man who’d have been desperate to play is Southampton man Virgil van Dijk. The 26 year-old is yet to represent his country at a major tournament and it would’ve been a chance for him to really enhance his reputation as one of the worlds finest centre-backs.

World Cup Russia

LB: David Alaba (Austria)

Up there with the best left-backs in the world, Bayern Munich and Austria man David Alaba will be missing at next summers World Cup. They endured a dismal campaign which saw them finish in fourth position, after initially being one of the favourites to go through. Alaba is undoubtedly the star in that side and he’ll be immensely disappointed to have missed out on this competition. He’s won pretty much everything there is to win at club level so his nations under performances certainly won’t have gone down well with him over the last twelve months.

CM: Marek Hamsik (Slovakia)

Slovakia failed to qualify for the World Cup for the second time in four years in pretty agonising style. They finished as runners-up in Group F behind England but failed to make the play-off stage after having the lowest points total of the nine nations that finished second. That means we won’t see one of Europe’s best midfielders on display with Napoli’s Marek Hamsik missing out on a finals appearance. The 30 year-old is a legend for the national side picking up 101 caps, but you have to feel that he doesn’t have time on his side if he’s to feature in another World Cup.

World Cup Russia

CM: Naby Keita (Guinea)

The first African player to feature in our side is RB Leipzig & soon to be Liverpool man Naby Keita. The Guinean has quickly established himself as one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the game, which prompted The Reds to smash their transfer record to secure his services. He would’ve been desperate to show his talents on the world stage but his Guina side really struggled in qualification, mustering up just three points from five games. Their fate was confirmed with a game to go so it looks like he’ll be joining Liverpool in training a little earlier than expected.

 RM: Alexis Sanchez (Chile)

Arguably the biggest shock of them all, Chile missed out on qualification to the World Cup in dramatic circumstances. The Copa America holders needed just a point away to already qualified Brazil to seal their spot in Russia, only to be thrashed 3-0 by the side ranked as the worlds best. They ended up slumping to a sixth placed finish which saw boss Juan Antonio Pizzi relieved of his duties as head coach. That means Sanchez won’t be play and he’ll be very disappointed. He’s known as being one of world footballs most fiercely competitive players and this would’ve hit him hard, especially with his club side absent from not the Champions League this season.

World Cup Russia

CAM: Henrikh Mhkitaryan (Armenia)

Playing in the hole is Manchester United man Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who’s having an unbelievable season for his club side. He’s really flourished this year playing in a free role behind Romelu Lukaku, becoming one of their most important players but he’s even more crucial to his nation who lack the talent that United possess. Qualification for the World Cup was always an incredibly long shot, especially seeing as they’ve never done it and they ended up slumping to a fifth placed finish, losing seven of their ten games. The 28 year-old did his best to try and drag them through but unfortunately for him it wasn’t enough.

LM: Gareth Bale (Wales)

Just over twelve months ago Welsh football was booming after stunning Europe to reach the semi-finals of Euro 2016. It was their first ever appearance in a major tournament since the 1958 World Cup and their best ever run in any competition, but what followed hasn’t been too good. They finished in third position in Group D after suffering a heartbreaking 1-0 home defeat to the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff to ensure that they will be staying at home next summer, meaning one of the worlds best players will be missing out. Gareth Bale lit up France last summer with some dazzling displays for Wales and their talismanic forward would’ve been absolutely devastated to have missed out on a WC appearance, especially with him watching that final day defeat from stands due to injury.

World Cup Russia

ST: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)

There were several contenders for this position in our side with Edin Dzeko mounting a serious push, but we’ve opted for prolific Borussia Dortmund man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Gabon have never qualified for the World Cup and that wait is set to continue at least another four years, with them four points behind group leaders Morocco with three left to play for. The 28 year-old is one of the most lethal frontmen in world football with him smashing in 133 goals in 200 appearances for his club side and he would’ve been one of the most exciting players to watch in Russia, with his pace and power a nightmare for any defender.

World Cup