The 2022 World Cup competitions will start in Qatar, on Sunday, in the presence of the biggest football stars in the world, but will all the players reunite without any absences? Of course not, as the qualifiers, injuries and coaches’ choices led to the absence of some weighty names such as Senegalese Sadio Mane, Norwegian scoring machine Erling Haaland and Egyptian Mohamed Salah.
Salah, Halland and Mane
Egypt failed to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar after a dramatic loss against Senegal, which had also previously defeated the Pharaohs in the final of the last African Cup of Nations.
Thus, Salah will not be in the World Cup, like his former colleague and current Bayern Munich player, Senegalese Sadio Mane, the runner-up in the Golden Ball ranking, whose absence was confirmed Thursday due to a knee injury he recently suffered with his club in the German League.
On the other hand, Haaland did not succeed in leading Norway to the finals, so that his country would remain absent since 1998.
Like his compatriots Marco Verratti or Jorginho, the Italian goalkeeper and the French team Paris Saint-Germain lost the opportunity to participate in the Qatari World Cup with the “Azzurri” by losing the qualifying play-off against modest North Macedonia.
And for the second time in a row, four-time world champions Italy will miss the global event in great disappointment.
“I am devastated,” wrote the right-back of the England national team and young Chelsea club, on November 9, on Twitter, and this was the date of his official withdrawal from the English squad due to a knee injury he suffered in mid-October.
Sergio Ramos and Presnel Kimpembe
Two world champions will not be present. It is true that Spain has become accustomed to the absence of Ramos, who has not worn his country’s shirt since March 2021.
On the other hand, Kimpembe was hoping until the end to defend the title he won with the Roosters in 2018.
He even featured in his coach Didier Deschamps’ preliminary squad but, after not recovering adequately from an Achilles tendon injury, had to give up his place and make way for Axel Desazy.
The French left-back is considered a pillar in Real Madrid, but he is not among Deschamps’ plans, and at the age of twenty-seven, Mendy has never succeeded in fully establishing himself in the heavily armed French squad.
This time, Deschamps preferred the brothers Lucas and Theo Hernandez, and Luca Digne (46 caps) suffered the same fate.
Deschamps sums it all up when he says “No Ngoloho has less strength, because of his energy, his experience, his humanity, he’s such a lovely little guy, he always has a smile, we’ll miss him.”
Kante, who plays in a defensive midfield position, is the 2018 world champion, but he is going through a difficult season with Chelsea.
He only played the first two games of the current season and was sidelined for long periods with a hamstring injury and won’t return until 2023.
Thiago Alcantara and Paul Pogba
The first World Cup to be held in the Middle East will miss two of the most talented midfielders in the world.
Despite his brilliance in the English ranks of Liverpool, the midfielder, Alcantara, did not convince the coach, Luis Enrique, to leave a vacant place for him.
As for Pogba, injuries to his right knee and then to his thigh will prevent him from participating, and without him and Kante, Deschamps will have to rebuild the French midfield again.
The FIFA World Cup finals will start next Sunday in Qatar until December 20, with the participation of 32 teams.