The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be the first in the winter! The season in the top European leagues will have to stop for the biggest soccer tournament, and I can’t wait to watch the biggest stars.

Unfortunately, several elite players won’t compete in the World Cup for different reasons. I want to share my list of the best starting lineup from players that will miss the 2022 World Cup. I also explain why they won’t be in Qatar.

Football Jan Oblak – Goalkeeper

  • Age: 29
  • Country: Slovenia
  • Reason for Absence: Failed to Qualify

Unfortunately, one of the best goalkeepers in the world won’t get a chance to compete in Qatar. Slovenia failed to make the World Cup after suffering a defeat against Russia in October and Jan Oblak will be watching the matches on TV.

The Atletico Madrid goalkeeper is a superb shot-stopper who has been instrumental for the Spanish side’s success. He’s tall, athletic, and consistent. Oblak’s also known for his quick reflexes and ball-handling skills.

What’s even more astounding about the goalkeeper is his fearlessness. He never hesitates when he has to come off his line and collect crosses or close the angle on opposing strikers.

This gives him extra coverage of his area, which many goalkeepers lack. His confidence and leadership have also earned him plenty of respect.

Before I continue, I need to pay respect to another great goalkeeper. Gianluigi Donnarumma almost secured the goalkeeper spot on my starting 11. The Italians failed to qualify for a second straight World Cup after suffering a stunning defeat to North Macedonia due to a stoppage-time goal.

Football Andy Robertson – Left Back

  • Age: 28
  • Country: Scotland
  • Reason for Absence: Failed to Qualify

Ukraine ended Scotland’s – and Andy Robertson’s – hopes of competing in Qatar. It would’ve been the country’s first World Cup appearance in 24 years, but Scotland ultimately lost to Ukraine during the Play-Off semi-final in June.

Robertson later admitted that Scotland was flat-out terrible in the match. He also said that they “waited a long time” for this game, and I’m sure the entire nation is crushed.

The same applies to many soccer fans because Robertson is arguably among the best left backs in the world.

He has won multiple trophies with Liverpool and many individual awards. Robertson was selected in the PFA Team of the Year in 2018-19 after his club finished runner-up in the Premier League. The Reds won the Champions League in that same season.

What makes Robertson unique is his ability to improve and adjust his game. He’s a humble two-way player who always wants to get better, and his energy is on another level. You can expect dangerous crosses and fierce defending from the left back.

Football Leonardo Bonucci – Central Defender

  • Age: 35
  • Country: Italy
  • Reason for Absence: Failed to Qualify

Here’s another Italian superstar who won’t get to showcase his talents in Qatar. Leonardo Bonucci’s had successful stints for AC Milan, Inter Milan, and Juventus. The defender is also a former European Champion and was named the Serie A Footballer of the Year in 2016.

Bonucci is among the most versatile defenders in the world. He reads the game really well and is fearless when he’s protecting the goal.

On top of that, you would struggle to find better leaders in the heart of the defense and Bonucci can pass the ball well from the back.

Football Giorgio Chiellini – Centre Defender

  • Age: 38
  • Country: Italy
  • Reason for Absence: Retired From International Soccer

Bonucci’s partner up to a few months ago is next on the list. Many consider Giorgio Chiellini to be the best defender of his generation, and his long-term playing career in Serie A was also noteworthy.

Early in Chiellini’s career, he was regarded as a defensive prodigy. He would eventually develop into one of the best defenders of our generation. His previous coach, Walter Mazzarri, even described Chiellini as a “force of nature”.

During his 17-year stint with Juventus, Chiellini was nothing short of phenomenal. He’s also a fan favorite because of his work ethic, dedication, and can-do attitude. He’s played in over 500 professional soccer games, which is an impressive achievement on its own.

Chiellini was pivotal in Italy’s Euro 2020 triumph, and I’m confident he would’ve played in Qatar too. The veteran decided to retire after his country failed to qualify, and I respect that.

Football Ben White – Right Back

  • Age: 25
  • Country: England
  • Reason for Absence: Not in Southgate’s Plans

Ben White is an exception because he could potentially play in the 2022 Qatar World Cup. However, Gareth Southgate has been ignoring him for a while, so I will take the risk of including the Arsenal defender in my lineup.

White is calm, collected, and versatile. His passing is exceptional, and he can play in pretty much every position at the back.

The Englishman is originally a central defender, but he’s having a great season at right back with Arsenal. White can also play on the left and even as a defensive midfielder which makes Southgate’s lack of faith in him even odder.

Football Franck Kessie – Central Midfielder

  • Age: 25
  • Country: Ivory Coast
  • Reason for Absence: Failed to Qualify

Franck Kessie is another immensely gifted player who won’t be at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The midfielder is one of the world’s most exciting soccer prospects and had a pivotal role in AC Milan’s Serie A triumph last season.

Unfortunately, Kessie’s Ivory Coast suffered a defeat against Cameroon during an important qualification fixture.

On top of that, the midfielder has struggled since his move to Barcelona, so the second half of 2022 definitely will put his character to the test.

Football Marco Verratti – Central Midfielder

  • Age: 29
  • Country: Italy
  • Reason for Absence: Failed to Qualify

Italy’s national team is loaded with world-class athletes, which is why it’s a shame to see some of the most talented players miss the Qatar World Cup. Marco Verratti is a gifted midfielder whose playmaking abilities are exceptionally good.

Verratti’s contributions to PSG over the past decade are also noteworthy. He won Ligue 1 Player of the Year in 2013-14 and has captured eight French championships during his time in Paris. He was also part of the national team during Italy’s run at winning the 2021 European title.

In terms of soccer prowess, there’s no denying that Verratti is a dominant player. He can get creative when controlling the ball, and he has the ability to retain possession in tight spaces. His sense of balance and vision of the field is also well above average.

It’s worth mentioning that although Verratti is naturally right-footed, he’s equally accurate with his left. He was also widely regarded as one of the best emerging players of his generation back when he made his debut for Pescara in 2008.

Football Martin Odegaard – Attacking Midfielder

  • Age: 23
  • Country: Norway
  • Reason for Absence: Failed to Qualify

Martin Odegaard is also one of those special players that will miss the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Norway came up short during qualifications when the national team lost to the Netherlands back in November 2021.

There’s no denying that Norway’s absence is a tough pill to swallow for Odegaard. He’s already considered one of the most talented attacking midfielders in the world. His power and creativity on the pitch are what make him such a dangerous player.

The Arsenal man can control the tempo and usually makes the calls on when the team should press high up the pitch. I would love to watch him and Haaland (more on him later) in a big international tournament, but that won’t happen in Qatar 2022.

Football Mohamed Salah – Left Forward

  • Age: 30
  • Country: Egypt
  • Reason for Absence: Failed to Qualify

One of the best players in the past five years won’t be in Qatar, either. The African qualifications are always close, and Egypt failed to book a place in the 2022 World Cup.

Salah lacks proper service with his country, which is why Egypt fell short. It’s a shame because Salah is incredible to watch at his best. He is fearless with the ball, and his finishing is on another lever.

Let’s hope the break he will get will bring out the best of Salah, who’s been inconsistent for Liverpool since the start of the EPL season.

Football Luis Diaz – Right Forward

  • Age: 25
  • Country: Colombia
  • Reason for Absence: Failed to Qualify

It’ll be the first since 2010 that Colombia will miss the World Cup. Four other countries finished ahead of the side during the 10-team CONMEBOL qualification process. This actually prompted the Colombian Football Federation to fire head coach Reinaldo Rueda.

Colombia’s failure to qualify is also a devastating blow for Luis Diaz, who has been one of the bright lights in an otherwise poor Liverpool season so far.

His creativity and fighting spirit are what make Diaz great. I hope he will have the chance to showcase them in the World Cup in the future.

Football Erling Haaland – Striker

  • Age: 22
  • Country: Norway
  • Reason for Absence: Failed to Qualify

You don’t need me to tell you why Erling Haaland will be a big miss in Qatar! This is one of the hottest prospects in soccer history, although one could argue he’s the finished article already.

Haaland has broken numerous records in his young career. In 2020, he became the first teenager to score a goal in five consecutive UEFA Champions League matches. He was also the quickest player to score two and three hat-tricks in the Premier League.

The striker is flying, and his absence will be a huge miss. On the bright side, this will give him time to rest, and Manchester City could benefit from a fresh Haaland after the World Cup.

Football Conclusion

Unfortunately, some of the most elite soccer players on earth won’t be competing in the 2022 Qatar World Cup. However, the good news is that many other superstar players will be there representing their countries.

I expect a lot of cracking games and many gambling opportunities. The top sports betting sites already offer futures and odds for the first matches, so feel free to check them out.

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