Haaland, Salah, and others we won't see at World Cup 2022

From Haaland to Salah and Pogba, this year’s World Cup will be devoid of some of the biggest names in football.

The most significant football competition for players has called the Football World Cup. It is anticipated that the most popular players in the world will put on a run at the beginning of their tournament and advise their teams to greater new heights.

The world’s greatest football players will compete at the Qatar event next year. The 211 FIFA member countries could only book seats at the World Cup 2022, which was 42 greater than the accepted number of teams.

This brought heartbreak to players such as Erling Haaland, Mohamed Salah, and Gianluigi Donnarumma. Norway, Egypt, and Italy were among the teams that could not get a squad for Qatar.

Here are 6 players who were not chosen for the world champion title due to their teams’ failure to qualify for the tournament. A special mention goes to Paul Pogba, who will likewise miss France’s defense in this year’s FIFA World Cup due to an injury.

Erling Haaland – Norway

Erling Haaland was the first player to make his international debut at 19 and has been a goal scorer in 23 games.

But Haaland, the best striker of the moment, has only scored five goals in the World Cup qualifiers. Norway scored 18 points in the 10 qualifying matches it played and was third, behind only those of the Netherlands and Turkey in the group.

The Manchester City player has been performing this season. And has become one of the top players (nine minutes) who has scored 15 goals during the English Premier League.

The 22-year-old is to spare and should be able that will make up for his absence in 2022.

Mohamed Salah – Egypt

It’s possible that Egyptian footballer Mohamed Salah will be laid up in January in Qatar during the World Cup.

But, one of the most famous players in the world of football won’t be playing in the Middle East’s inaugural World Cup as his country was unable to make it into the tournament.

Egypt and Salah were in the wrong place during the penalty shootout against Senegal twice within two months.

The first was that they fell in their Africa Cup of Nations final in February. Then, they lost an eventual World Cup qualification playoff that ended in an extra shootout following two legs.

Salah’s penalty kick from the spot flew over the goal, as Egypt suffered a 3-1 loss on penalties.

Salah’s participation at his participation in the 2018 World Cup in Russia was hindered by injuries. And he was unable to get his team through the group stage.

At the age of 30, the question is yet to be determined whether Salah will be able to make an effort to return to the World Cup.

David Alaba – Austria

David Alaba won his third Austrian Sports Personality of the Year award this year. Eight Austrian Footballer of the Year awards and the quadruple with Real Madrid in the 2021-22 season.

Although he has been regarded as Austria’s top footballer of the past decade. This veteran Bayern Munich defender has not participated in an international match in the World Cup. His country hasn’t qualified for the event since 1998.

The 30-year-old, who also played for Austria, was in the squad. That played during the time his team played Wales during their Nations League playoff tie in March. Austria’s poor run in qualifying, which saw five wins in their 10 matches, ended with a loss of 2-1 in Cardiff.

This Real Madrid defender has made the most international appearances in 96 games for Austria and recorded 14 goals.

Riyad Mahrez  – Algeria

The CAF African Footballer of the Year award for 2016 was given to Riyad Mahrez. A Frenchman who excelled in several football competitions in 2016, including the Africa Cup of Nations.

The French-born winger made it into the Algerian 2014 World Cup squad but made only a tiny impact. The team was not selected for the 2018 tournament, but they were close to getting to Qatar until a last-minute Cameroon goal snuffed them out during the extra time of their playoff game.

Algeria’s absence from Qatar could mean Mahrez’s dream of participating in a second World Cup as he will turn 35 in the next four years.

Martin Odegaard – Norway

The famed football player at the age of 23, Martin Odegaard’s breakout came in talent as a youngster.

The Norwegian played his professional league debut at 15 and was the youngest goal scorer in the top league in his country. He was signed by Real Madrid a year later; however, he continued moving between Spain and the Netherlands. Until finally finding himself at his home in London in the English league of Arsenal.

Odegaard has been considered one of Norway’s top young talents. It was no surprise when he set the record for being the youngest debutant of Norway’s senior team at fifteen.

The midfielder has been recognized for his keen eye with the ball in his hands, his accuracy in tackling set pieces, and his capacity to make space.

But, his leadership and talents did not suffice to get his team through until the World Cup. Norway came in third place of their groups. With the skills from Odegaard, Haaland, and others in their arsenal, it was an unexpected outcome.

Gianluigi Donnarumma – Italy

When Gianluigi Buffon quit Italian soccer, Italy had a few difficulties finding its replacement. Gianluigi Donnarumma not only duplicated his aficionado and idol’s qualities with confidence. But he also established himself as the best up-and-coming goalkeeper in the world.

Donnarumma made his debut as a professional with AC Milan in 2015 and was named to the starting XI later in the year. In 2021, he made a move from Milan to Paris St-Germain.

As Buffon’s career was coming to an end, Donnarumma began establishing himself as a suitable successor. He took over for Buffon during a match in the year 2016 and became the youngest goalkeeper ever to be a part of Italy at age 17.

Donnarumma was awarded The UEFA Player of the Tournament during the Euro 2020 championship (played in 2021) due to his contribution to aiding Italy to take home the trophy.

The failure of Italy to be able to participate in another World Cup means that Donnarumma will have to wait for at minimum another four months before making his World Cup debut.


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Golam Muktadir is a passionate sports fan and a dedicated movie buff. He has been writing about both topics for over a decade and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with his readers. Muktadir has a degree in journalism and has written for several well-known publications, including Surprise Sports.


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