The World Cup is the elite competition in world football. Despite that, owing to the qualification process, there are always some big names that miss the cut. This year’s tournament is no different.
Here we are looking at the seven biggest stars that won’t be at Qatar 2022.
We kick off our look at the biggest stars who won’t be at Qatar 2022 with one that might trigger some debate. Italy is the current European champion, so before the qualification, they were even higher rated in the World Cup betting lines to go far in the tournament. However, they failed to qualify, surprisingly.
Chelsea midfielder Jorginho is one of the key reasons Italy didn’t make the World Cup finals as he missed two penalties in two different games during qualifying; had he scored, Italy would have made the cut.
Despite that, it’s hard to argue that he’s amongst the best in the world in his position. In 2021, he came third in the Ballon d’Or voting having helped Chelsea to Champions League glory and Italy to the European Championship title.
Jan Oblak is the only goalkeeper to make this list but he unquestionably qualifies as one of the stars that won’t be at Qatar 2022. The Atletico Madrid keeper has long been regarded among the best in the world in his position. Unfortunately, he hails from Slovenia which are hardly known to be a footballing superpower.
Despite having Oblak between the sticks, they finished their qualifying group way off the pace collecting just 14 points from 10 games; that’s what happens when you’ve got bang-average players in front of you.
Luis Diaz arrived in England – specifically at Liverpool – in January. Immediately he set the league alight with his quality in the final third as he provided a goal contribution every 154 minutes. In fact, he has impressed to the point where Liverpool will barely notice the absence of Sadio Mane should his rumored move to Bayern Munich go through this summer.
Why won’t he be at the World Cup? In CONMEBOL, the top four nations from a 10 team qualifier advance to the World Cup with fifth place entering a playoff with a team from the AFC. Colombia finished sixth.
On the subject of Liverpool forwards, we might as well bring Mo Salah into the mix. He’s unquestionably one of the seven biggest stars that won’t be at Qatar 2022. Salah has enjoyed a phenomenal season for Jurgen Klopp’s men as he won the Premier League golden boot and sank a total of 31 goals and 16 assists across all competitions.
For Egypt though, it has been a painful few months for Salah. They lost out in the African Cup of Nations final to Senegal. Just a few weeks later, history repeated itself as Senegal beat Salah and co in the World Cup qualifying showdown – again on penalties.
Another African hot shot that won’t be going to Qatar 2022 is Victor Osimhen. The Super Eagles were in contention to make the grade but ultimately fell short as they lost out on away goals to Ghana. Osimhen will be a miss on the elite stage though – even if he did fail to bag in that all important Ghana clash.
Across the last four seasons, Osimhen has plied his trade in three different European leagues – one in the Jupiler Pro, one in Ligue 1 and two in Serie A; he has hit double figures in each of those seasons. His most recent campaign, for Napoli, saw him chip in with a goal contribution every 96 minutes having scored 18 and assisted six in all competitions.
There aren’t many players going to the World Cup that can boast a CV that includes having donned the colors of both Bayern Munich and Real Madrid; David Alaba has though. He’s hardly been a bit part player for those giants either; in fact, he’s been a key component of the sides and both have enjoyed success with him in their ranks.
Unfortunately, his defensive prowess will be missing from Qatar. Austria made it into the playoff rounds of qualification but fell short as they faced off with Wales courtesy of a brace from Alaba’s Los Blancos teammate Gareth Bale.
Finally, we have to remind you that Erling Haaland won’t be appearing at Qatar 2022. The young striker is arguably the most talked about player on the planet right now courtesy of his transfer to Manchester City. Haaland has earned that move off the back of what can only be described as absolutely remarkable scoring form for Borussia Dortmund.
He spent 18 months in Germany after ripping up the Austrian league with RB Salzburg; in that year and a half though he bagged a total of 86 goals at a strike rate of a goal every 84 minutes. Unfortunately, though, Norway failed to secure a top two spot in their qualification group.