Prolific players who will miss 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar
The 2022 Fifa World Cup, which kicks off on Sunday in Doha, will bring together some of the most skilled football players in the world.
Squads have been named and nearly all the competing teams have arrived in Qatar. By Sunday’s kick-off, some 832 players from 32 countries shall have checked in at their hotels for the month-long football festival.
This year’s World Cup will also see several young ‘unknown’ players seeking to leave a mark in Qatar.
But there are many more equally gifted players who will miss out for one reason or the other. While many of these cases are due to injuries, some big names will miss out either because their national teams didn’t qualify or they simply didn’t make the cut.
Here is a list of some of the prolific players who will not be in Qatar for this year’s edition of the Fifa World Cup.
Reece James (England, injured)
The Englishman is one of the best right backs in the EPL. The 22-year-old suffered a knee injury in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over AC Milan in the Ueaf Champions League last month following a collision with Theo Hernandez.
The Blue’s star is set to be out of action for eight weeks, and a call-up to represent the Three Lions is unlikely even after he was flown to Dubai to step up his rehabilitation. James’ absence will hurt England given his efficiency in both attacking and defensive fronts.
Paul Pogba (French, Injured)
The midfielder is set to miss the World Cup due to a nagging knee problem. The 2018 World Cup winner was back in training with Juventus after undergoing surgery in September but tests in Italy and US confirmed that the 29-year-old is not fit for the World Cup due to a new injury.
N’golo Kante (France, Injured)
The 31-year-old suffered a hamstring injury on August 14 in a EPL match against Tottenham Hotspur. The Frenchman appeared to be on the road to recovery but his dream of defending the World Cup title has been shuttered after he was omitted from the French squad.
Kante has gone under the knife and is set to be out for four months. The Blue’s midfielder has yet to play under new manager Graham Potter. Kante’s work rate and easy smile will be missed in the French camp in Qatar.
Erling Haaland (Norway, did not Qualify)
The ‘bully’ forward has made a tremendous first impression with a goal scoring run that has topped Manchester City’s chart this season. The Norwegian has 23 goals in 17 official matches since joining the Citizens early this season. But he miss out the World Cup with Norway have been knocked out in the qualifiers after managing to finish third in their group behind the Netherlands and Turkey.
The 22-year-old will miss the biggest football event in Qatar alongside his immensely talented fellow countryman Martin Ødegaard. Sad for football fans for they won’t get to see the goal’-scoring machine at his best.
Mohamed Salah (Egypt, did not Qualify)
The 30-year-old left-footed forward was knocked out by former teammate Sadio Mane in the World Cup qualifiesr. Egypt played Senegal in the playoff match which ended in a 1-1 aggregate score leading to a penalty shootout. Salah missed a penalty as Senegal triumphed 3-1. Salah’s flair and finesse with his dazzling left foot will be badly missed in Qatar.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy, did not qualify)
The 23-year-old was voted the best goalkeeper in the 2021 Ballon d’Or Awards but after winning the 2020 European title, his Italian national team failed to qualify for this year’s edition of the World Cup following a 1-0 defeat to North Macedonia in the playoffs.
Sergio Ramos (Spain, dropped from squad)
The veteran defender, who is Spain’s most capped player of all time, will miss out after failing to make Luis Enrique’s squad. The 36-year-old, a winner of the 2010 World Cup, has been in PSG for a season after moving from Real Madrid back in July 2021. This would have been his fifth World Cup. Many thought he would make the list and make history for his country. Ramos had and injury and has been struggling to regain his form.