World Cup 2022: Top 10 big names set to miss out
FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is the showcase of the elite in football. For a month, 32 teams will descend upon Qatar to fight for supremacy and claim the ultimate prize in football and prove to the world that they are the best team on the planet.

Though the World Cup will have a lot of the best players the planet has to offer, the tournament unfortunately will not be able to feature all of the best players.

There are different reasons or circumstances that are behind these players inability to make the World Cup. Sometimes it could be injuries sustained before the tournament or their countries are unable to secure qualification. Whatever the case may be, some of the best players in the world today will not take part in the festival of football that is the World Cup in Qatar next month

We take a look at some of those players who will miss the tournament.

Erling Haaland
If you were to say that Haaland is the best player in the world today, few will be able to provide sufficient evidence to dispute that fact.

With 20 goals and three assists in 14 games, the Norwegian has begun his Manchester City career in spectacular fashion and he does not look like slowing down anytime soon.

Unfortunately, he will not go to the World Cup as Norway were unable to finish with enough points to qualify. They finished behind the Netherlands and Turkey and his five goals in six games could not help his nation get over the line.

At 22, all hope of a World Cup appearance in the future is not lost but you have to feel for the defenders that will have to face a fresh and hungry Haaland when the season resumes after the tournament.

Mohammed Salah
The Egyptian king will unfortunately not be taking his talents to the World Cup. Mohammed Salah's Egypt were eliminated during the World Cup playoffs against Senegal.

It was a painful but also controversial moment for the country as Salah missed the all-important penalty that decided the tie with a multitude of lasers in his face impairing his vision. It was Sadio Mane's Senegal that made it to Qatar instead which means the World Cup will be deprived of Salah's greatness. 

Victor Osimhen
The Nigerian international who has become one of Europe's most sought-after forwards in recent times will, unfortunately, miss the World Cup. Osimhen was unable to help his country Nigeria to get over the line against bitter West African Rivals Ghana as they lost on away goals after a 1-1 at home in the second leg of their World Cup playoff match.

It was a defeat the 23-year-old felt deeply and produced a heartfelt apology to Nigerians.

"We need to first say sorry to Nigerians. A lot of people still support us but what we need to do is to try to get all our supporters back 100%. We are on the right path, doing things well with the new coach [Peseiro] and technical staff.

"But everyone is sad, nobody is happy even now the pain lingers and forever it will."

The Super Eagles are filled with young talent and have a core that will look to qualify for the next World Cup and Osimhen will be at the forefront. 

Luis Diaz
The Colombian international will not take his mercurial talents to the World Cup as his national team failed to make it through the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying group.

They finished sixth on the table behind Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, and Peru. They were unable to score enough goals in order to turn all those draws to wins and they paid dearly for it.

The 25-year-old will have his eyes on the 2026 World Cup in Canada, Mexico and the United States with the hopes of leading Los Cafeteros to the World Cup.

Reece James
Unfortunately for this talented 22 year old, this edition of the World Cup has been taken out of his hands. An injury sustained in the UEFA Champions League against AC Milan means that the ultra-talented English wing back will most likely miss the World Cup in Qatar.

After fighting to gain the favor of England manager Gareth Southgate ahead of another immensely talented right back in Trent Alexander-Arnold, James looks like the first choice in that position but injuries have ruined the chances of watching one of the most complete fullbacks in world football at the World Cup.

Thankfully, he is only 22 and he has a bright future ahead of him.

Gianluigi Donnarumma
The PSG goalkeeper will be wondering how his side are not at the World Cup right now. After a fantastic campaign at EURO 2020 last year, Italy became the European Champions. There would've been no doubt that they would build on that momentum but they failed to beat North Macedonia in the playoff semifinal and their World Cup hopes crashed and burned. 

As a result, the EURO 2020 Player of the Tournament winner will not appear at the World Cup. Other talents like Giacomo Raspadori, Nicollo Barella and PSG teammate Marco Verrati will not be able to grace the tournament either. But the Italians have developed a young squad with talented players with 23 year old Donnarumma one of them. There is still hope yet for The Azzurri in 2026.

Paulo Dybala
After suffering a freak injury for Roma during the season, it is unlikely that Paulo Dybala makes it to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. At the very least, he is in a race against time to make it to the tournament.

On October 9th, Dybala scored a penalty against Lecce to put his side 2-1 up, before signaling that he needed to come off due to injury. You could tell from the tears the Argentine forward shed on the bench that it can't looking good for him and his manager Jose Mourinho didn't sound positive either.

“I say bad, but I think very, very bad. I am not a doctor, but in my experience, and speaking to Paolo, it’s unlikely we’ll see him this year,” Mourinho told DAZN.

The 28-year-old is doing everything in his power to recover in time for the World Cup and we as football fans would be glad to see him express his talents on the biggest stage. He will need massive amounts of luck.

Riyad Mahrez
The Algerian winger had a magical qualifying group tournament for his nation.  He was their top scorer with five goals in the qualifying group stages and going into the playoffs against Cameroon, they had momentum on their side.

They were able to travel to Cameron and win away from home. A strong 1-0 victory saw them in the driver seat and potentially on their way to Qatar but they lost spectacularly 2-1 in Algeria could not qualify for the World Cup which means that the brilliant 31 year old will miss out on the showpiece event.

At 31, Mahrez doesn't have that many tournaments left so he will be looking at 2026 as probably his last opportunity to go to the World Cup.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Sweden's inability to get past Robert Lewandowski's Poland means that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss the FIFA World Cup.

Zlatan would not have featured at the World Cup anyways as the Injury the big Swede sustained playing for AC Milan will keep him off the pitch until January 2023.

He is 41 years old now and we may never get the chance to see Zlatan at the World Cup again but the man himself has not ruled out a chance at making to another tournament.

At the end of the day, Zlatan does not need the World Cup, the World Cup needs Zlatan.