The World Cup in Qatar, which will take place later this year, is expected to be a star-studded affair, but there are some huge names who will be absent from the action.
A number of renowned players have had their dreams dashed in qualifying matches over the previous several days, adding to the list of those who have already been confirmed as absentees.
The PA news agency takes a look at five high-profile persons who will not be participating in the competition, which will begin in November, in this article.
For Salah, it was a case of déjà vu on Tuesday, as Egypt were defeated on penalties by Senegal in their World Cup play-off, with Sadio Mane, a Liverpool teammate, hitting the crucial spot-kick – just as it had been the case in February’s Africa Cup of Nations final. Pharaoh’s skipper Salah was among those who failed to convert from the penalty spot as the Pharaohs failed to qualify for the World Cup for a second consecutive year.
Norway finished third in their qualifying group, and as a result, the Manchester City-linked Borussia Dortmund striker, who has scored 15 goals in 17 international appearances, will not be included in the squad for the World Cup in Qatar. In his lifetime, the squad has failed to qualify for either the World Cup or the European Championships — Haaland was born only a few days after the conclusion of Euro 2000, the team’s last major competition.
It was a huge shock for Jorginho and his Italy teammates on Thursday, as they were defeated 1-0 at home by North Macedonia in their qualifying play-off semi-final. After finishing third in the 2021 Ballon d’Or voting last summer, Jorginho and his teammates were riding high after winning the Euros last summer. With the Azzurri having also failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the 30-year-old Chelsea midfielder’s search for a first-team international debut continues.
Real Madrid defender Alaba is another player who has yet to appear at a World Cup, and that is unlikely to change this year as Austria fell 2-1 to Wales in their play-off semi-final, courtesy of a brace from Alaba’s Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale. The last time the team competed in a World Cup was in 1998.
As a result of Sweden’s loss to Poland in their World Cup play-off on Tuesday, it looks like Ibrahimovic, the country’s all-time leading scorer, has made his last participation. The AC Milan striker, who is 40 years old, has been in three editions of the tournament: in 2002, 2006, and 2018.