Best Players Who Won’t Be Playing in the World Cup 2022

As the start of the 2022 World Cup draws nearer, the best players in the world are treading carefully through their final domestic club matches before the tournament on November 20. Several countries have announced their final tournament rosters of 26 players or fewer.

Not all of the tournament’s big players will be able to make it to Qatar due to injuries or because their country didn’t make the cut. Considering this, we’ve put together a squad composed entirely of players staying home for the World Cup.


Gianluigi Donnarumma – Italy

The winner of Euro 2021 will not be playing since the Azzurri once again didn’t make it to the World Cup. PSG’s number-one goalkeeper has already proven himself to be one of the best in the world. He will be a huge miss.  Even though he is only 23, he has a lot of time to play in this tournament.

Jan Oblak – Slovenia

Madrid will not be competing in Qatar. The 29-year-old player has also earned 52 international caps for Slovenia.

As Oblak approaches his 30s, it is disheartening to see his dream of playing in the World Cup receding farther and further into the distance.

Kepa Arrizabalaga – Spain

Due to a foot injury, the Chelsea goalkeeper will be unable to participate in the competition. He is now in top form, and Spain will suffer a huge loss without him.


Reece James – England

After hurting his knee in a Champions League game, James will miss at least eight weeks of action, so he is not included in the World Cup. The Chelsea player’s outstanding Premier League form made him a clear favorite to make the World Cup. Now, they’ll have to find someone else.

Ben Chilwell – England

Another England fullback has been sidelined by an injury at an awful time in his career and will be out of the World Cup squad.

Giorgio Chiellini – Italy

After Italy’s shocking 1-0 loss to North Macedonia, defender Giorgio Chiellini was at a loss for words. The fact that they won the Euro yet didn’t make it to the World Cup is disappointing. A couple of months later, the central defender called it quits on his international career, realizing that this would be his last chance to play on the sport’s biggest stage.

Mats Hummels – Germany

Even though he’s had a great season with Borussia Dortmund, Mats Hummels wasn’t included in Germany’s roster for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Because Germany preferred a younger defender, Hummels was passed over.

David Alaba – Austria

The Real Madrid defender has appeared for Austria at the international level 96 times, during which time he has scored 14 goals. Austria’s 2-1 loss to Wales in the playoffs, their chances of qualifying for the World Cup have been eliminated. As a result, Alaba will not be going to the World Cup.


Paul Pogba – France

Pogba’s World Cup participation was in jeopardy because of his injury, but things looked up in July when it was announced that he would return to Juventus. France’s prospects of winning the World Cup again will be much diminished without Pogba; he will miss the rest of the season recovering from knee surgery.

Martin Odeggard – Norway

The 23-year-old will not be able to take Norway to the World Cup because they did not cut. He will be ready to play a significant role in the second half of the Premier League season for the gunners after getting some much-needed rest. Fans of Arsenal will not be too disheartened by Norway’s elimination from World Cup contention.

Marco Verratti – Italy

The loss of Verratti, one of Europe’s most talented midfielders, is another blow to Italy’s shocking disqualification.

Franck Kessie – Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast failed to qualify for the World Cup. Hence he will not be able to participate. The Ivory Coast qualified for the tournament in second place, behind Cameroon.

After a stellar season with Milan, Kessie received a huge summer transfer to Barcelona.

N’Golo Kante – France

He is an important contributor to France’s 2018 World Cup success. Losing him is a major setback for France since he is indispensable in the French midfield. Considering Kante has a hamstring injury, he will be unable to play in the World Cup. The hamstring injury he sustained in August limited the midfielder to just two outings for Chelsea this season.


Erling Haaland – Norway

Haaland, who has tormented Premier League center-backs since joining City from Borussia Dortmund, will not be at the World Cup since Norway did not qualify.

Without the 22-year-old, Norway has won only one of 10 qualifying matches. Unfortunately, the World Cup won’t see his skills on the biggest platform.

Riyad Mahrez – Algeria

Due to Algeria’s failure to make it into the World Cup, Riyad Mahrez will not be able to participate. After a close two-legged playoff, Cameroon ultimately won by away goals.

Mohamed Salah – Egypt

Egypt had a rough year in 2022. They lost the final of Africa’s World Cup play-off and the AFCON championship against Senegal. After losing to Senegal in a penalty shootout, Egypt could not qualify for the tournament in Qatar.

Liverpool has struggled to stay up with the rest of the Premier League, and Mohamed Salah hasn’t lived up to the lofty standards set by his prior seasons. He is one the biggest footballing star and will be a huge miss for the World Cup.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Sweden

Sweden will not be able to participate in the World Cup for the second time in a row, and Ibrahimovic will likely never get another chance to leave his stamp on the competition. In a play-off, Poland defeated Sweden, denying us a third World Cup appearance from famous Sweden.

For the past two decades, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, now 41 years old, has stood tall over the rest of the world in football. He is one of the all-time Footballing greats, and fans were eager to see him on the grand stage one last time.

Luis Diaz – Colombia

Diaz has been sidelined with a knee ailment that has prevented him from playing, so even if Colombia had made it to the World Cup, Diaz would not have been able to participate. 

The winger will have the opportunity to rest and recuperate during this World Cup break is a positive thing.

Diogo Jota – Portugal

Jota suffered a calf injury during Portugal’s match against Manchester City a month ago, so he will not be traveling to Qatar with the team. The player and his country both take a hit from this unfortunate turn of events. If Jota had been able to participate, it would have been his first World Cup.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Gabon

Since Aubameyang’s national team, Gabon, did not qualify for the World Cup again, the former Arsenal and current Chelsea striker is yet to make his long-awaited World Cup debut. Even though he scored two goals that proved decisive in qualifying, Gabon ultimately missed a place in the CAF playoffs to Mo Salah’s Egypt. He is 33 years old, and this was his last try to participate in this prestigious event.

Golam Muktadir is a passionate sports fan and a dedicated movie buff. He has been writing about both topics for over a decade and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with his readers. Muktadir has a degree in journalism and has written for several well-known publications, including Surprise Sports and Surprise Movies.


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