Sadly absent: elite soccer players not present at the 2022 World Cup

The World Cup is always the place where the biggest names in world football show off their best form to help the home team win.

But out of FIFA’s 211 member nations, only 32 have tickets to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, leaving players like Erling Haaland, Mohamed Salah and Gianluigi Donnarumma at home while Norway, Egypt and Italy appear in the list of teams that failed to qualify.

Below is the list of players absent from the 2022 World Cup due to the national team’s failure in the qualifying round, causing the most regret.

1. Erling Haaland – Norway

Erling Haaland made his international debut for Norway at the age of 19, scoring 21 goals in 23 matches. The Manchester City player is also in “destructive” form this season, becoming the fastest player to score 15 goals in the Premier League after only 9 appearances.

However, during the World Cup qualifiers, this player only scored 5 goals. Norway only earned 18 points after 10 qualifying matches, ranking third behind the Netherlands and Türkiye in the same group.


2. Mohamed Salah – Egypt

Salah, one of the brightest stars in world football today, will not participate in the 2022 World Cup due to the Egyptian team’s defeat in the qualifying round. Egypt and Salah himself were fouled twice in the penalty shootout with Senegal in just 2 months.

Egypt first lost the Africa Cup of Nations final in February, then lost the World Cup qualifying play-off. Salah hit the goal, causing Egypt to lose 1-3 on penalties. Before that, Salah also had an incomplete 2018 World Cup due to injury, which prevented Egypt from getting past the group stage.


3. David Alaba – Austria

Despite being arguably Austria’s best player of the past decade, the former Bayern Munich defender will not be participating in the World Cup as Austria has not qualified for the tournament since 1998. Alaba is 30 years old. had 96 appearances for the Austrian team and scored 14 goals.


4. Riyad Mahrez – Algeria

Winner of the 2016 African Footballer of the Year award, the 2016 Africa Cup of Nations and the Premier League title with two different clubs, Riyad Mahrez has always been one of the best African players of all time. era in recent years.

The French-born winger was part of Algeria’s squad for the 2014 World Cup but failed to make much of an impact. In 2018, Algeria failed to qualify and in 2022 they took a step towards the World Cup until they were eliminated by Cameroon’s late goal in extra time of the play-off. Being absent from this World Cup is unfortunate because Mahrez will be 35 years old at the next World Cup.


5. Martin Odegaard – Norway

Odegaard is considered one of the best young talents today and it is not surprising that Odegaard broke the record for the youngest player to debut for a Norwegian team at just 15 years old.

Odegaard was scouted by Real Madrid before joining Arsenal, where the player has become an important member. However, Odegaard’s leadership and on-field talent were not enough to take Norway to the World Cup.


6. Gianluigi Donnarumma – Italy

As soon as Buffon’s career ended, Donnarumma began to become a worthy successor in the Italian goal. Donnarumma replaced Buffon in a match in 2016, becoming the youngest goalkeeper to represent Italy at the age of 17.

Not only is Donnarumma confident in replacing Buffon’s name, he also affirms himself as the best young goalkeeper in the world. He played professionally for AC Milan in 2015 and moved to PSG in 2021. Donnarumma was voted Best Player at Euro 2020 (taking place in 2021) by UEFA.


7. Victor Osimhen – Nigeria

Victor Osimhen is a promising young Nigerian striker who won the Golden Boot at the 2015 U17 World Cup and is currently the leader of Napoli’s attack in Serie A.

This 23-year-old player is one of the top strikers in Italian football, scoring 30 goals in 68 appearances since 2020. Before playing in Italy, Osimhen played for Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga.

Nigeria’s failure to participate in the 2022 World Cup will prevent Osimhen from having the opportunity to show off his talent at the world’s largest football festival. However, with his youth, Osimhen still has a chance.


8. Patrick Schick – Czech Republic

Patrick Schick, Euro 2020’s second top scorer and top scorer of the tournament, is a regular for the Czech Republic, scoring 17 goals for the national team in 33 appearances.

The Bayer Leverkusen striker has been in good form this season, scoring 20 goals in a number of games, including a 7-1 win over Bundesliga champions Gruther Folt Four ball.

With a total transfer fee of around £65 million, Schick’s form has attracted interest from teams such as Manchester City, Arsenal and Newcastle United. However, he will not be available for the 2022 World Cup this winter after the Czech Republic lost to Sweden in extra time in the play-off.


9. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Sweden

Sweden’s chances of qualifying for a 13th World Cup finals were ended by Poland in the final play-off round, which certainly ended Zlatan’s chances of participating in another World Cup.


10. Jorginho – Italy

Jorginho has enjoyed great success since joining Chelsea from Napoli in 2018, winning the Europa League, Super Cup, Club World Cup and Champions League at Stamford Bridge. After an incredible 2021 that saw the 30-year-old become European champion with club and country.

Jorginho has also received much recognition throughout the campaign, being named in the FIFA FIFPro Men’s World 11, selected by professional players around the world, alongside midfield partner N’Golo Kante, before receiving the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award and finishing third in the Ballon d’Or voting.

Although born in Imbituba, Brazil, Jorginho’s nationality is Italian. At the international level, he plays for the Italian national team, which is famous for being the most tactical national football league. To date, they have won 48 European titles and are named the second most successful nation in European football.


11. Presnel Kimpembe – France

Central defender Presnel Kimpembe could not recover from his injury in time and decided to withdraw from the French team for the 2022 World Cup.

Kimpembe has made 28 appearances for the French national team. He was a member of the “Les Blues” team that won the 2018 World Cup in Russia. After PSG’s 1-0 victory over Brest on September 10, Kimpembe is expected to miss 6 weeks to treat a hamstring injury. In the most recent match between PSG and Auxerre on November 13, Kimpembe came off the bench and played 15 minutes but was not in the best condition.


Axel Disasi, the player called up by Coach Deschamps to replace Kimpembe, is Monaco’s mainstay in Ligue 1 this season. Disasi appeared in 21 matches in all competitions, scored 2 goals and contributed 4 assists despite being a centre-back.

Elsewhere, Coach Deschamps also decided to add the name of legendary Lilian Thuram’s son, Marcus Thuram, to the list of 26 players participating in the 2022 World Cup.

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