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2022 World Cup : Haaland, Salah, Veratti and all the superstars who won’t be going to Qatar

For the first time ever, a World Cup tournament is being held in the winter as thirty-two nations travel to Qatar to fight for glory.

The anticipation is killing and despite the joy and fun the world cup has always presented, this year’s will be see a host of superstar stay at home.

France, the defending champion are going to fighting not just against incredible favourites but also history as no defending champion has ever gone pass the group stage in the thirty-two team era.

Brazil, Argentina, Belgium are standout favourites while big names such as Portugal, England and Netherlands can’t be written off just yet.

Italy and African Giants, Nigeria and Egypt have all missed out this term.

Here, we take a look at the superstars that won’t be making the trip to Qatar this winter.

Erling Haaland

Currently considered the best striker in Europe, Erling Haaland took the Premier League by storm upon his arrival at Manchester City.

Norway led a somewhat golden generation recently with the emergence of Haaland and and Odegaard but ended up third in their qualifying group.

Haaland will be greatly missed in Qatar.

Marco Veratti

When you list top midfielders in the game currently, Marco Veratti will definitely sit on your top 5.

The Italian playmaker is an embodiment of a modern day energetic and creative player in the middle of the park. PSG and Italy have enjoyed successes largely due to the impact of Verrati.

Despite all his qualities, Veratti couldn’t prevent Italy’s slump against North Macedonia.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Despite ageing like fine wine, Zlatan Ibrahimovic will never appear in a World Cup tournament after just two appearances in his over two decade career.

After retiring in 2016, Zlatan came back with the hope of guiding his nation back to Qatar this winter but ended up on the losing side as Sweden fell to Poland in the play-offs.

Zlatan will end his career without a single world cup goal to his name.

Mohammed Salah

Salah has been a revelation for the past couple of years in the Premier League and also Champions League but somehow, he falls short on international duty.

After losing the African Nations Cup to former teammate, Sadio Mane’s Senegal, Salah also lost his World Cup spot in a penalty shoot out to Senegal.

The little magician has never appeared in a World Cup tournament and it remains to be seen if he ever will.

Ngolo Kante

The man who was instrumental to France’s 2018 triumph won’t be making it to Qatar this winter.

Since that 2018, Ngolo Kante has struggled to keep himself fit and despite helping Chelsea to an UCL win in 2021, Kante still hasn’t shaken off his injury problems.

While France will definitely be in the World Cup, it’s been confirmed that Kante will be out until next year after having a surgery for an hamstring injury that’s kept him out for the entire season so far.

Other superstars confirmed to be out of the world cup

Paul Pogba – France

Jan Oblak – Slovenia 

Martin Odegaard – Norway 

Jorginho – Italy 

Timo Werner – Germany 

Victor Osimhen – Nigeria 

Toni Kroos – Germany

Riyhad Mahrez – Algeria 

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