The World Cup is an international football tournament, organized by FIFA to celebrate the best footballing nations in the world.
Overtime, the best footballing nations like Brazil, Germany get to grace the occasion with great players representing the countries and leading them to having a great tournament. There are also great players who have due to one reason or the other never been part of the greatest international footballing tournament in the world. As the World Cup qualifiers get set to go down this weekend, here are therefore seven great players that never played at the world cup;
Hugely talented, but a “bit” of a loose cannon on and off the field, Cassano was left out of the squads for the 2006 and 2010 World Cups. While he managed to appear at three European Championships for Italy, missing every World Cup between those Euros takes some sheen off a career that could have delivered more.
Abedi Ayew, or Abedi Pele as he has become better known, was one of the first stars of the African game, and is still considered by some to be the greatest African player of all time, and almost unanimously the greatest Ghanaian. He won 67 caps for Ghana, scoring 33 goals and winning the African Cup of Nations, but Ghana didn’t reach a World Cup until 2006, six years after Pele’s retirement.
Prolific in the Premier League for Manchester United during the 1990s, his international career left a lot to be desired. In 1998, Glenn Hoddle left him out of the squad for the World Cup, claiming that Cole needed six or seven chances to score one goal. It was an assertion that angered both Cole and Alex Ferugson. He was also left out of the 2002 World Cup, which means he never played at a major tournament.
Eric Cantona’s temperament kept him from long spells in the French team and thus reduced his chances of making it to the World Cup.After his outburst against then-head coach Henri Michel’s decision to drop him from the squad during one stage of qualifying for the 1990 World Cup, Cantona was banned from international matches.He enjoyed a good spell under Michel Platini and Gerard Houllier, missed out on the 1998 World Cup due to the presence of a certain Zinedine Zidane.
Alfredo Di Stefano was mentioned as the best ever by Pele. The star player who engineered a fantastic era for Real Madrid appeared in international competition for three different teams—Spain, Colombia and Argentina—yet never managed to appear in the World Cup finals. Argentina did not participate in the 1950 World Cup and he was deemed ineligible for the 1954 World Cup after having played for both Argentina and Colombia. After acquiring Spanish citizenship, he played in a few qualifying matches but the team failed to qualify for the 1958 World Cup. When Spain did qualify in 1962, Di Stefano was unable to participate because of an injury.
The most decorated player in football history, Ryan Giggs has won an incredible amount of club and individual honors, including; 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups, nine Community Shields, three League Cups, two Champions Leagues and one Club World Cup. Giggs played for Wales 64 times, but never qualified for any major competition with his country.
The absence of a player like George Weah from the FIFA World Cup is truly unforgettable. Undoubtedly Weah is regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time. There are so many greater achievements in his diary like 1995 FIFA World Player of the year . Unfortunately, with his home country Liberia being already wracked with Civil War, he couldn’t take part in the greatest show on earth. Unbelievable but truth is, George Weah never played in a FIFA World Cup tournament.