The World Cup is just seven days away as the biggest tournament lands in Russia. As a player, it is one of biggest achievements playing in this tournament. However, they are always some players that miss out on this glorious opportunity. So what is the best xi not going to the World Cup?
World Cup ‘Not Going’ XI
It would have been Buffon’s last ever World Cup but it was not to be. Italy missed out on a spot to go to Russia. The 40-year-old had one more chance to bring glory to his home country. But Sweden were victorious in the World Cup play-off as Jakob Johansson’s goal secured their place in the biggest tournament in history.
One of the worst ways of missing the chance to be in Russia is through injury. Dani Alves suffered a ligament rupture on May 10th which ruled him out rest of the season and the World Cup. This could have been the 35-year-old’s last chance of adding this prestigious trophy to his cabinet and for Brazil. But Dani Alves will have to cheer on his teammates from the side-line as Brazil hopes to end the 16-year wait.
Giorgio Chiellini and Virgil van Dijk
Both world-class defenders that will not be in Russia next week. Van Dijk had a brilliant second half of the season. After joining Liverpool in January, the Netherlands international has tightened the Reds’ defence and has been a real leader. It would have been the perfect opportunity for van Dijk to shows his quality in the biggest tournament in the world, watched by millions. On their other side, Chiellini has had another fantastic season with Juventus as they won the league sixth time in the row. However, it will be disappointing for the 33-year-old to be watching the World Cup on TV after Italy missed out on a spot in Russia.
The Spaniard might be annoyed on missing a place in the 23-man squad. Alonso, once again, had a brilliant season with Chelsea, although they finished outside the top four. Nacho Monreal was the preferred choice by Julen Lopetegui as the manager hopes to lead Spain to glory in his first competitive tournament.
One of the most surprising snubs. Leroy Sane had a terrific season with Manchester City after winning the Premier League. The 22-year-old was involved in 25 goals; 10 goals scored and 15 assists, in just 32 games for The Citizens. Looking at those stats, many people would have expected him to be the first man on the team sheet for Germany. But Joachim Low dropped the Manchester City forward for Julian Brandt, stating “He had not arrived in international matches yet. It was a very close decision”.
Cesc Fabregas and Fabinho
Another key midfielder that’s has missed out on a spot in Russia is Spain’s Cesc Fabregas after a poor season with Chelsea. Along with Fabregas, Fabinho is another casualty, as the newly-appointed Liverpool midfielder also failed to make Brazil’s 23-man squad. However, the 24-year-old has moved away from Ligue 1 into the Premier League as he hopes to fight back into the squad.
Wales had one of the best campaigns in France for Euro 2016 after making it all the way to semi-finals. But it was not to be in 2018 as Wales failed to make it out of the qualifiers. Gareth Bale has had a few injuries problem this season but is still a world-class player when fit. The Real Madrid star would walk into any team, so not having a spot in Russia will be disappointing.
Mauro Icardi and Anthony Martial
Both quality strikers that deserve to be on the plane to Russia. Mauro Icardi will feel the most disappointed. The Argentine scored 29 goals in 34 matches for Inter Milan but still failed to make the 23-man-squad. On the other side, Anthony Martial will feel the lack of game time was his downfall after starting just 18 games for Manchester United but still scoring nine goals. Due to this, the Frenchman will be looking for a move away as he aims for more game time to get back in the French squad.