20 Football Superstars That Will Miss The 2022 FIFA World Cup

The Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup is fast approaching and it will be another chance for the greatest football superstars in the world to show the stuff they are made of in front of the watching world.

But despite the fact that the 2022 World Cup will feature some of the game’s biggest stars, it will also miss several top footballers.

Here in this article, FootballOrbit looks at the best players that will miss the upcoming global mundial in Qatar.

While superstar players like Paul Pogba, Gini Wijlandum, Marco Reus, Ronald Araujo and Florian Wirtz will likely miss out due to injury; this list comprises of footballers whose nations failed to qualify.

1. Mohamed Salah (Egypt)

Mohamed Salah will not feature at the 2022 FIFA World Cup because Egypt agonisingly failed to qualify.

The Pharaohs got defeated by Senegal on penalties in the AFCON 2022 final, and it happened again just a month later as the two matched up in the CAF World Cup qualifying final round, with a home and away two-legged clash to decide a spot in the World Cup.

After a pair of 1-0 results for each home side that left the two nations level on aggregate, it went to another penalty shootout.

Liverpool star Salah missed a penalty in the playoff shootout — sending Egypt crashing out.

2. Erling Haaland (Norway)

Erling Haaland - 20 superstars that will miss the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Norwegian star, Erling Haaland, is now the quickest player in Premier League history to have scored 10 goals in a season — having done so after just 6 matches.

Unfortunately, the Manchester City striker will miss the World Cup after Norway finished third in their UEFA qualifying group behind Netherlands and Turkey.

Norway have so far only featured in three World Cups, with their last appearance coming in 1998.

3. Zlatan Ibrahimovich (Sweden)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic appeared in two World Cups before retiring from international duty with Sweden in 2016, but returned last year in a bid to help them qualify for Qatar.

Sweden ultimately lost 2-0 to Poland in the UEFA playoff Path B final — leaving the 40-year-old at home for the finals in Qatar.

Ibra didn’t start the play-off final against Poland and was only brought on for the final 10 minutes with the team already down by two goals.

Therefore, the towering striker is destined to finish his career with a record of no goals from 5 FIFA World Cup matches.

4. David Alaba (Austria)

Despite enjoying plenty of success at club level, David Alaba has never played at the FIFA World Cup — with his country, Austria, always coming up short against the European top nations.

Austria’s last World Cup appearance was in 1998.

5. Luis Diaz (Columbia)

Luis Diaz of Columbia — 20 football superstars that will miss the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Liverpool forward, Luis Diaz, will have to wait another four years for a World Cup appearance after Colombia agonisingly missed out on a CONMEBOL playoff place by a single point to Peru.

6. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is back in the Premier League after joining Chelsea from Barcelona — following his high-profile exit from Arsenal in January.

However, despite him netting two crucial goals in qualifying, Gabon were eliminated by Mohamed Salah’s Egypt in the race for a CAF play-off spot.

7. Martin Ødegaard (Norway)

Like his compatriot Haaland, Arsenal skipper, Martin Ødegaard, will not feature at the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup with Norway.

He became Norway’s youngest ever player at the age of 15 back in 2014 and was made captain in 2021.

With Ødegaard and Haaland leading a new generation of youngsters for Norway, there is a possibility we will see the country at the 2026 World Cup.

8. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)

Riyad Mahrez of Algeria

Riyad Mahrez has much experience of playing on the biggest stages in club football for Manchester City, but he won’t be at the World Cup after Algeria failed to qualify.

Mahrez top-scored for Algeria with five goals as they reached the CAF play-offs by pipping Burkina Faso to top spot in Group A.

But the lost to Cameroon in the Play-offs.

Despite winning 1-0 in the first leg of the African playoff against Cameroon, Algeria were eliminated after losing 2-1 in the second leg after extra-time.

9. Franck Kessie (Ivory Coast)

The CAF qualification process saw Ivory Coast eliminated in the second-round group stage after finishing second to Cameroon — meaning Barcelona midfielder, Franck Kessie, will be watching from home.

10. Marco Verratti (Italy)

Despite being one of the most prominent midfielders in the world, Marco Verratti has only participated at one World Cup: the 2014 edition.

Italy missed out in 2018 and they won’t be in Qatar either following their shocking defeat to North Macedonia in the UEFA playoffs.

11. Victor Osimhen (Nigeria)

Victor Osimhen playing for Nigeria

Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen, will not be on song in Qatar after Nigeria’s epic and disappointing loss to Ghana in the CAF play-offs.

The 23-year-old’s striker’s international record is impressive as he has found the net 15 times in 23 appearances for Nigeria.

The Super Eagles will miss the FIFA World Cup for only the second time since their first ever appearance in 1994.

12. Gianluigi Donnaruma (Italy)

Euro 2020 MVP, Gianluigi Donnaruma, will take off his gloves in November and December as Italy once again failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Donnarumma was the best player at the Euros as he saved 3 penalties across the Azzurri’s semi-final and final shootout wins over Spain and England respectively.

Still only 23, the PSG goalkeeper still has the chance to one day play at the World Cup with his country.

13. Alexander Isak (Sweden)

Sweden’s playoff final defeat to Poland means that Newcastle’s club-record signing will miss Qatar.

14. Edin Dzeko (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

Veteran striker, Edin Dzeko is still going strong at the highest level with Inter Milan in the Serie A.

But he won’t be on the plane to Qatar as Bosnia’s World Cup qualification chances were destroyed after getting drawn in a tough group alongside France and Ukraine.

Dzeko — their captain, record goalscorer and top appearance maker — could call time on his international career before Euro 2024.

15. Jorginho (Italy)

Italy got embarrassingly defeated by North Macedonia in the European World Cup play-offs.

The Azzurri will now miss their second World Cup in a row.

It is unbelievable for most football fans that Italy did not qualify for the World Cup just after 8 months of being crowned European champions!!!

16. Wilfried Zaha (Ivory Coast)

Crystal Palace winger, Wilfried Zaha, is another Ivorian who will not be at the World Cup in 2022.

Patrice Beaumelle’s men — having failed to qualify for Russia 2018 — miss out on another tournament.

Ivory Coast qualified for three successive World Cups between 2006 and 2014.

17. Jan Oblak (Slovenia)

Jan Oblak will miss the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

Atletico Madrid captain, Jan Oblak, is currently one of the best goalkeepers in the world but interestingly, he has never played at the FIFA World Cup.

In their group, Slovenia finished 4th in the European World Cup qualifiers and couldn’t make it to the play-offs.

18. Federico Chiesa (Italy)

Federico Chiesa played a key role in Italy’s triumph at Euro 2020 but a serious injury prevented him from featuring in Italy’s play-off defeat to North Macedonia.

The Juventus superstar now has to watch the World Cup from home.

19. Milan Skriniar (Slovakia)

Milan Skriniar Slovakia

Much-coveted Inter Milan defender, Milan Skriniar, is widely regarded as one of the finest centre-backs in football at the moment.

But the 27-year-old may never get the chance to compete in a World Cup as Slovakia ended up 3rd in the Qatar 2022 qualification group.

It’s a bitter pill to swallow for Skriniar, who played every minute of his nation’s unsuccessful campaign.

20. Andrew Robertson (Scotland)

Andrew Robertson’s status among the elite left-backs in the game means he will once again be a big miss at the World Cup.

The 28-year-old has played a key role in Liverpool’s transformation into one of the best teams in the world under Jurgen Klopp.

Scotland made it to the play-off semi-final but unfortunately lost 3-1 to war-torn Ukraine at Hampden — in a contest that saw the whole of Europe rally around the Ukrainians.

Scotland have now been absent from the World Cup for 24 years.

Notable Mentions

¶Naby Keita (Guinea)
¶Radamel Falcao (Colombia)
¶James Rodriguez (Colombia)
¶Arturo Vidal (Chile)
¶Miralem Pjanić (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
¶Alexis Sánchez (Chile)
¶Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Armenia)
¶Miguel Almiron (Paraguay)
¶Teemu Pukki (Finland)
¶Leonardo Bonnucci (Italy)
¶Alex Iwobi (Nigeria)
¶Juan Cuadrado (Columbia)

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