Many players missed this year’s World Cup through injury, but what about the players who were outright snubbed?
Qatar 2022 has not disappointed so far. With plenty of twists and turns, we could be in for a classic tournament.
However, some big stars are missing from the competition this year and we’ve rounded them up in Best XI. Note: We did not include players who were injured.
GK: David de Gea
Costa Rica didn’t fire a shot in their World Cup opener against Spain, allowing Unai Simon to put his feet up.
Luis Enrique appreciates goalkeepers with first class distribution skills and so the Manchester United goalkeeper didn’t make it.
RB: Nordi Mukiele
France are absolutely stacked when it comes to talent across the pitch.
One might have thought that Nordi Mukiele’s versatility would have earned him a place in Didier Deschamps’ squad, but it wasn’t to be for the PSG defender.
CB: Fikayo Tomori
Being named Serie A Team of the Year 2021-22 wasn’t enough to earn Fikayo Tomori a place in the England squad.
The 24-year-old was snubbed by Gareth Southgate after a couple of dodgy appearances in the Champions League against Chelsea, which seems a bit harsh.
READ: All salute Fikayo Tomori, Milan’s Serie A Campione and England’s best CB
CB: Mats Hummels
Germany could have used Mats Hummels’ experience against Japan.
The 33-year-old is a former world champion and has had a strong season with Borussia Dortmund so far.
LB: Robin Gosens
One fellow German who didn’t make it was Inter Milan’s Robin Gosens.
“I think he can understand very well that we made this decision,” said Germany coach Hansi Flick. “It has nothing to do with his quality, but with the rhythm. Both [David] room and [Christian] Gunter is doing well in their clubs.”
The fact that 11 of his 12 Serie A games have been off the bench this season hasn’t helped him.
LM: Arnaut Danjuma
This feels particularly hard.
Villarreal’s Arnaut Danjuma was one of the best wingers in Europe last season. Sure, injury slowed his progress somewhat but we can’t help but feel he would have added something to Louis van Gaal’s squad.
CM: Thiago Alcantara
Gavi and Pedri are the future but surely Enrique could have found a place for Thiago?
The Liverpool midfielder has struggled with injuries but when he is fully fit he is one of the best midfielders in Europe.
Takehiro Tomiyasu also couldn’t believe he didn’t make the squad.
Takehiro Tomiyasu calls his favorite Spanish national team player “Thiago”.
Journalist: “Thiago Alcantara? He is not coming [to the World Cup].”
Tomiyasu: He’s not coming?! Sorry, I didn’t know that!”
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) November 22, 2022
CM: Renato Sanches
It just seems like yesterday that Renato Sanches won the coveted Golden Boy Award.
Sanches was a star in Portugal’s triumph at Euro 2016 and he was a notable snub from this year’s squad.
The midfielder has been a minor player at PSG since arriving in the summer so perhaps that’s why he was left out. Having only started two games in Ligue 1, Sanches has always struggled to get in.
RM: Jadon Sancho
It just hasn’t happened for Jadon Sancho since joining Man Utd, has it?
The winger looked like a world champion in the Bundesliga but failed to repeat his form in the Premier League.
ST: Javier Hernandez
Gerardo Martino could regret his decision not to bring in Javier Hernandez after Mexico blanked Poland.
The 34-year-old had a good season at LA Galaxy, scoring 18 MLS goals. His record of 52 goals in 109 appearances for Mexico should not be forgotten either.
At least he will have enough free time to play Call of Duty.
Javier Hernandez playing Warzone is amazing 🤣pic.twitter.com/DNTufTS2eM
– Call of Duty out of context (@NoContextCOD1) November 19, 2022
ST: Roberto Firmino
It speaks to Brazil’s quality in attack if they can afford to leave Roberto Firmino at home. The Liverpool striker has regained his goalscoring abilities with nine goals this season.
With players like Neymar, Vinicius Junior, Antony, Raphinha, Gabriel Martinelli, Rodrygo and Richarlison, it’s not as if Brazil lack star power.
READ MORE: 9 players in the Panini sticker album who won’t be in the World Cup