The upcoming World Cup will feature big names in football, with Ronaldo and Messi in the spotlight, but not everyone has been able to book a trip to Qatar.
As we approach the qualifying phase for the 2022 World Cup, it is already possible to verify that most of the places are already occupied, many of them by renowned teams, filled with stars from all over the world. This constellation that will appear in Qatar has the experience of players like Ronaldo or Messi, who reach the fifth World Cup of their career, but also with the irreverence of young players like Pedri, Mbappé or Vinícius Júnior.
However, not all the stars got the much-desired qualification, with heavyweight absences all over the world, and there are still others fighting for a place in Qatar, such as Haaland, Gareth Bale, Keylor Navas or Christian Pulisic.
On the African continent, the Ivorian players, Kessié and Sebastian Haller, are two of the biggest names who knew earlier that they would not go to the World Cup, since their team was not even present in the continental play-off. . In a similar scenario was the selection of Gabon, Aubameyang, striker for Barcelona. In the turn of the play-offs, perhaps the best African player of recent years, Mohamed Salah, the Liverpool star who saw his Egypt being eliminated by Senegal, fell. Serving Algeria, Salah’s Premier League opponent Riyad Mahrez was also eliminated at this stage, in this case by Cameroon.
In South America, the three most renowned teams in the region, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, managed to qualify, as expected. However, Ecuador’s surprising direct qualification and Peru’s qualification for the intercontinental play-off took two places away from teams that have world-class players. Colombia misses the World Cup for the first time since 2010, leaving out Luis Diaz, Falcão, James Rodriguez or Juan Cuadrado from Qatar. Apart from the ‘cafeteria’, Chile’s ‘golden’ team of Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sánchez seem to have lost the last chance to take part in a World Cup again. The Chilean team had won the Copa América in 2015 and 2016, but had already missed out on the World Cup in Russia.
In Europe, the unavoidable absence is that of the European champion, Italy. With the failure of the “Squadra Azzurra”, names like Donnarumma, Immobile, Jorginho or Bonucci will not be able to fight for their team’s fifth world title for the second time in a row, after being eliminated in the play-off by Macedonia. Like the Italians, Sweden, under the eternal Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Austria, under David Alaba, also lost their chance to go to Qatar in the play-off. Jan Oblak’s Slovenia, on the other hand, were knocked out in the group stage. Haaland, one of the best scorers at the moment, will have to wait, like Norway, for a new opportunity.