Sunday 28 December 2014

In pictures: The best players who won't be playing in World Cup 2014

|

Petr Cech (Chelsea and Czech Republic): The 31-year-old has only been to one World Cup, in 2006, and he has missed out again with Czech Republic's defeat to minnows Armenia during qualifying proving costly.
Petr Cech (Chelsea and Czech Republic): The 31-year-old has only been to one World Cup, in 2006, and he has missed out again with Czech Republic's defeat to minnows Armenia during qualifying proving costly.
David Alaba (Bayern Munich and Austria): Placed in a qualifying group alongside Germany and Sweden, the Bayern full-back was unable to guide Austria to their first World Cup since 1998 - although he contributed more than most, leading the goalscoring ranks with six strikes.
Vlad Chiriches (Tottenham Hotspur and Romania): Playing more minutes than any other person during Romania's qualifying campaign, captain Chiriches was unable to guide his side to victory against Greece in the play-offs.
Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea and Serbia): The Chelsea defender was one of only two players to take the field in every one of Serbia's matches during qualifying but his side performed poorly, missing out on a play-off place to local rivals Croatia.
Daniel Agger (Liverpool and Denmark): Denmark's leading scorer during World Cup qualifying, Agger was incredibly unlucky not to make the World Cup, with his side the only country to finish second in their qualifying group and miss out on a play-off spot.
Marek Hamsik (Napoli and Slovakia): Napoli manager Rafa Benitez says Hamsik has more tactical intelligence than Steven Gerrard, but the Slovakia midfielder will not be in Brazil next year after Slovakia finished well behind Bosnia-Herzegovina and Greece in qualifying.
Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur and Denmark): The Denmark midfielder is yet to make his mark in the Premier League but created more goalscoring chances than any other player in Europe's top leagues last season.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Borussia Dortmund and Armenia): Only managing to finish above Malta in qualifying meant Mkhitaryan was never within touching distance of making it to the World Cup and he will have to focus on performing in the Champions League instead.
Gareth Bale (Wales and Real Madrid): Ryan Giggs, Mark Hughes and Ian Rush never managed to play in a major international tournament and the world's most expensive footballer may well continue the run with Wales not looking likely to qualify for any competition soon.
Robert Lewandowksi (Borussia Dortmund and Poland): Currently leading the Bundesliga goalscoring charts with nine goals in 12 games, Lewandowski could only help his nation finish fourth in England's qualifying group.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-German and Sweden): "A World Cup without me is nothing to watch," said the Sweden striker after his two goals in the play-off second leg against Portugal weren't enough to see his country to Brazil.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (Tottenham Hotspur and Iceland): Iceland's fairytale came to an end with a 2-0 play-off defeat against Croatia, which means their best player Sigurdsson will not make his debut at a World Cup finals.
Arda Turan (Atletico Madrid and Turkey): One victory in their first four qualifying matches meant Turkey were always up against it to make it to Brazil and their captain Arda is yet to play in a World Cup after also missing out in 2010.
Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City and Montenegro): Montenegro have risen rapidly since they gained independence in 2008 and Manchester City's £22million forward has been a key player during that time. Picture: EPA

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport