Top 10 Players Missing the World Cup
The World Cup will traditionally see the greatest players on the planet battling it out for the richest prize in the game. However, there have always been fabulous performers who do not get the chance to perform on the greatest stage of them all. Here are 10 wonderful footballers who will not be competing in Brazil over the next couple of months.
10. Arda Turan
One of the driving forces behind Atletico Madrid’s immense run to win La Liga and reach the Champions League final, but he will have his feet up this summer rather than heading to Brazil. His Turkey side flopped in qualification, falling behind Netherlands, Romania and Hungary.
9. Petr Cech
The Chelsea keeper may still be, arguably, the best stopper in the Premier League, but his Czech Republic team were not good enough to reach the biggest stage of all. Losses at home to Armenia and Denmark cost them in qualifying and Cech will possibly the best goalkeeper on the planet not to be competing in Brazil.
8. Philippe Coutinho
Attacking midfield is a busy department for Brazil, so there will always be big players missing out in that position. Coutinho was one of the stars of the show in Liverpool’s excellent season, but he has not managed to squeeze his way into the home nation’s squad. What will cheer him up is that legends such as Ronaldinho and Kaka also miss out.
7. Javier Pastore
Despite PSG splashing nearly million in 2011, Pastore has not really impressed for the Parisians or for his national teams since then. He was dubbed one of the most exciting talents in the world game just a couple of years ago, but a lack of form means he is not in Argentina’s 23-man squad.
6. Ashley Cole
This was a well-publicised and fairly heavily criticised decision from Roy Hodgson. Despite most agreeing youth is the way forward for England, many also think that Ashley Cole should have been picked ahead of Luke Shaw. Opinions are irrelevant now though as Cole is not on the plane and has retired from international football for good.
5. Branislav Ivanovic
One of the best defenders in the Premier League in recent seasons, but his Serbia side came up short in Group A of the UEFA qualification. Failure to beat Scotland or Macedonia away from home was bad news for the Serbian and will leave Ivanovic sitting at home in West London this summer.
4. Samir Nasri
Nasri’s omission from the France squad would have been big news on its own, but was given a publicity boost by Samir’s girlfriend’s sensational rant at France boss Didier Deschamps. Allegedly Nasri does not take sitting on the substitutes bench well and that is part of the reason he has been left out.
3. Carlos Tevez
The Juventus striker may still be one of the highest profile players on the planet, but that is not enough to convince Argentina manager Alejandro Sabella that he deserves a place in the team. Tevez has been side-lined by the boss and there is no way into the squad for him that includes Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero in his position.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
One of the greatest strikers on the planet over the last decade, but he could not quite drag his Sweden team into the World Cup. A Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Portugal knocked the Swedes out in the play-off stage, leaving Zlatan to entertain us via Twitter rather than on the pitch.
1. Gareth Bale
The Welsh superstar may be able to win plenty of trophies with Real Madrid, but he is unlikely to ever even get a crack at the World Cup. Wales have not qualified for the World Cup since 1958, and despite having the flying forward in their line-up, they are going to struggle to change that anytime soon.