World Cup 2022: The 10 best players who will be absent from Qatar including Erling Haaland and Mohamed Salah
For all the 32 teams set to compete at the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, there are many, many more that will be missing out. As a result, some of the best players in the world will not be able to do what they do best on the biggest stage of them all. Here we look at some of the unfortunate names that we won't get to see owing to their teams not qualifying.
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Another Norwegian absentee will be the Arsenal playmaker.
Having been handed the captain’s armband for his country in 2021, the 23-year-old will unfortunately not be able to lead his side out at the tournament due to their failure to qualify.
It may be little surprise that Austria are not at the World Cup seeing as they haven’t competed on the grandest stage since 1988, but recent years have seen an upturn in form, culminating in a narrow last-16 defeat to eventual winners Italy at Euro 2020.
Part of their improvement is due to the presence of highly decorated Real Madrid and former Bayern Munich defender David Alaba.
However, while he has been able to hoover up league titles and Champions Leagues at club level, he could do little to prevent his national side from losing to Wales in their UEFA playoff semi-final.
From helping a resurgent AC Milan to a long-awaited Serie A title to earning a move to Barcelona, a World Cup appearance would have capped off a pretty impressive 2022 for the Ivorian.
Sadly, the cursed CAF qualification process saw Ivory Coast eliminated in the second-round group stage after finishing second to Cameroon.
As a result, the world will be denied the chance to see the rapidly-improving box-to-box midfielder at the tournament.
England's Harry Maguire and Cote D'Ivoires Franck Kessie during the international friendly match between England and Cote D'Ivoire at Wembley Stadium on March 29, 2022 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images)
Image credit: Getty Images
The Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper’s last touch of a ball at an international tournament was saving Bukayo Saka’s shootout penalty to win the European Championship for Italy.
Perhaps still basking in the high of that Wembley win, the Azzurri contrived to finish second in their UEFA qualifying group behind Switzerland, forcing them into a playoff semi-final, in which they were stunned by North Macedonia.
At 23, Donnarumma has ample time on his side to reach the World Cup with his country, but seeing as they have now missed the last two tournaments, who’s to say that’s even a given in the future?
Recent focus on Nigeria has tended to focus on their amazing kits year after year, but on the pitch, the Super Eagles have actually assembled a super-talented side, spearheaded by Napoli’s prolific hitman.
However, a poor AFCON showing was followed by a disappointing away goals playoff defeat to rivals Ghana as Osimhen failed to add to his 4 goals from the previous group stage round.
The successor to Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be seen at the World Cup following Sweden’s playoff final loss to Poland.
Failure to qualify could perhaps be partly attributed to Isak’s own dip in goalscoring form, which saw him fail to add to his nine international goals at all in 2022.
Seemingly rediscovering his scoring touch since joining Newcastle this summer, the break this year may actually be beneficial for the 23-year-old as he targets future tournaments to show what he can do.
One of the standout performers of Italy’s Euro 2020 triumph and adding further bewilderment to their failure to reach Qatar this time around.
A vital cog in the respective Azzurri and PSG teams, fans of the classy midfielder will be left disappointed not to see him dictating play and spraying passes on the biggest stage.