HomeSportsSalah, Haaland, Ibrahimovic and 7 more stars who miss the 2022 World...

Salah, Haaland, Ibrahimovic and 7 more stars who miss the 2022 World Cup

A sad selection of those who will definitely not be in Qatar.

Erlin Haaland, Norway

Before the start of the qualifying round, it was difficult to rank the Norwegian national team among the favorites of the group with the Netherlands and Turkey, however, during the tournament, it was Haaland and the company that periodically found themselves on the first line. Alas, the draw with Latvia and the loss to the Netherlands in the last two rounds did not allow the Scandinavians to even get into the joints.

Haaland was only able to play in six matches in which he scored five goals. If health had not failed the leader, the Norwegian team could have reached the World Cup for the first time since 1998. In the meantime, the 21-year-old striker will have to focus on his club career and wait for the next major international tournament.

Hakan Calhanoglu, Turkey

Turkish national team attacking midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu has become one of the best players in the Italian Serie A in his position over the past couple of seasons. In addition to confident performances for Milan and Inter, Calhanoglu also showed himself in the World Cup qualification. In 11 matches, the 28-year-old Turk scored three goals and made five assists. Unfortunately for his national team, Çalhanoğlu’s poor form coincided with the play-offs. In the game with Portugal (1:3), the Inter midfielder received only a yellow card.

Mohamed Salah, Egypt

Mohamed Salah definitely wants to erase the last two months of his life from memory. However, he will not be allowed to do this by Liverpool partner Sadio Mane. First, the Senegalese took the title of African champion from Salah in a penalty shootout. In the final, the Egyptians beat the 11-meter ones so badly that the turn did not even reach their main star.

At the end of March, they had a chance for revenge. Senegal and Egypt met in play-offs for the right to play in the World Cup in Qatar. The first game was left for the Egyptians (1:0), and in the return the Senegalese quickly scored the return goal, but could not develop the advantage. The strongest again had to be determined in the penalty shoot-out. Egypt head coach Carlos Queiroz this time changed the order of strikers and put Salah first, but the captain failed to cope with the responsibility and did not even hit the target. The Senegalese fans shone a laser pointer into Salah’s eyes throughout the match, including during the penalty kick, but this will remain on their conscience – no one will cancel the result.

Mane put an end to the post-match series and left Salah out of work for the second time in two months.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden

The best player in the history of football (in his own opinion) has already played twice in the world championships, but the last time this happened back in 2006. The Swedish national team became the quarter-finalist of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but Ibrahimovic was not there, because in 2016 he completed his international career.

Five years later, the Milan striker decided to return to the national team. Ibrahimovic, 40, has made five appearances in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup and scored two assists. As for the joints, he did not come out with the Czechs (1:0 a.i.) due to a bust of yellow cards, and against Poland (0:2) he appeared only in the 80th minute of the game.

Despite his age, Ibra is not going to announce his retirement. But by the beginning of the 2022 World Cup, he will already be 41 years old.

Georginho, Italy

The Italians became only the fourth reigning European champion in history to fail to qualify for the next World Cup. The last time this was possible was sensational Greece, which, after the triumph at Euro 2004, did not get into the 2006 World Cup. It was hard to believe that Italy would repeat such a trick.

If in this balanced team, Roberto Mancini should be singled out, then let Jorginho become such a person. The midfielder had a great 2021 helping Chelsea win the Champions League and Italy winning Euro 2020. However, in the selection for the World Cup, his oversights twice deprived the Italians of points: we are talking about two missed penalties in games with Switzerland (0:0 and 1:1).

In fairness, it should be noted that it is not necessary to hang all the dogs on Jorginho. In addition to the strong Swiss, points from Italy were taken away by the teams of Bulgaria (1:1 in Florence) and Northern Ireland (0:0). And the Italians flew out, conceding a goal in the 90+2nd minute of the game with Macedonia (0:1).

Riyad Mahrez, Algeria

One of the key players of Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, repeated the fate of Mohamed Salah. True, his case was even worse. Algeria, as the reigning champions of Africa, could not make it to the playoffs of the next continental tournament, and at the end of March they monstrously missed Cameroon at the 2022 World Cup.

The Algerians won on the road (1:0) and came home with a seemingly simple task – not to lose. The team was not broken by a goal conceded in the 22nd minute of the game by Erik Maxim Choupo-Moting. Algeria dominated throughout the meeting, but could not recoup. At the 49th minute, the referees canceled the goal of Islam Slimani due to offside. Already in extra time, in the 98th minute, another striker’s ball was not counted – this time, after his header, the ball hit his own hand. Even these unfortunate situations did not break the Algerians. At the 118th minute of the match defender Ahmed Tuba equalized after a corner kick.

And still, Algeria managed to concede. Africa still has an away goals rule, so Cameroon only had to score one more time to qualify for Qatar. The ball of Carla-Toko Ekambi on 120 + 4th minute deprived Algeria of the chances for the World Cup. As a result, Mahrez will miss the second World Cup in a row.

Victor Osimhen, Nigeria


Two years ago, Napoli paid Lille €75m for Osimhen. It is not yet possible to say that he has become a superstar of the Italian championship, but in Naples the Nigerian is doing pretty well. Last season, the striker scored 10 goals in 24 Serie A games, and this season Osimhen has 11 goals in 20 games. The statistics could have been better, but injuries interfere.

Naturally, the 23-year-old striker has already become the main one in the national team. He missed the African Cup of Africa in February due to the coronavirus, and Nigeria flew out already in the 1/8 finals. In qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, Osimhen has four goals in eight matches, but this was not enough. The away goal rule played a cruel joke on his team as well. After a goalless draw in Ghana, the Nigerians conceded at home already in the 10th minute of the game. Later, Nigeria was able to recoup, but never got the victory. And Osimhen’s goal with the score 1:1 was canceled due to an offside position.

David Alaba, Austria

The eternal problem for Alaba is the game in the national team. There are simply no players of his level in Austria. But this time, the Real Madrid defender flew past a major international tournament not without a chance. Despite the 4th place in the qualifying group, the Austrians got a chance in the joints thanks to the successful League of Nations.

Alaba’s hopes for the World Cup were buried by his teammate Gareth Bale. In the Wales national team, he becomes a completely different player than in the club, which happened again. The double of the winger brought the Welsh to victory over Austria (2:1). Alaba has never made it to the World Cup in 13 years of his professional career, and it is not known if he can.

Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez, Chile

It is difficult to call the failure of the Chilean team to Qatar a sensation, but you must admit that you always expect it at the World Cup. The 2015 and 2016 South American champions finished just 7th in World Cup qualifiers. Team leaders – Inter players Arturo Vidal (34) and Alexis Sanchez (33) – are already aging, and the youth is still far from their level. As a result, the Chileans will miss the second World Cup in a row.

Wilmar Barrios and Luis Diaz, Colombia


But one of the best players in the Russian championship Wilmar Barrios was much closer to Qatar than the Chileans. His Colombian team was one point short of a place in the play-offs with a team from Asia. Barrios ran solidly in 16 games out of 18 possible, but did not help his team break into the World Cup.

Also note the main star of the current Colombian national team – Liverpool winger Luis Diaz. He also shone at last summer’s Copa América, scoring four goals, including a jar overhead shot against Brazil. In qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, Diaz was a little less bright, but also kept a consistently high level. The Colombians were summed up by draws – as many as eight in 18 meetings, some with outsiders (0:0 with Venezuela, 1:1 with Bolivia).



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