No World Cup for many a talented star

NO SOUTH AFRICAN SAFARI: Football fans won't have a chance to see the sublime of skills of Togo's Emmanuel Adebayor and Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Sweden at the World Cup because of their national teams' inability to make the finals in South Africa.  

While most of the best players on the planet will be off to the World Cup in South Africa, there's a talented lineup of stars who will be forced to watch on television.

From Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech of the Czech Republic to Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Sweden, some players won't be going to the 32-nation tournament because their national teams failed to qualify.

English club Arsenal has a group of talented players who won't be there, including Russia forward Andrei Arshavin, Croatia striker Eduardo da Silva and Czech Republic midfielder Tomas Rosicky.

Although Manchester United will have many players at the World Cup, Bulgaria striker Dimitar Berbatov won't be going.

Giggs gives it up

Neither will Ryan Giggs, who has won 11 Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues at club level but has never played at a major international competition. He has given up trying to get Wales to the World Cup after so many failed attempts and has retired from international football.

Shay Given, one of the most respected goalkeepers in the Premier League, was denied a trip to South Africa with Ireland by Thierry Henry's handball in a playoff.

It set up an equalising goal for William Gallas, putting France through on aggregate and knocking Ireland out.

Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor will also miss out because Togo, which qualified for the last World Cup in 2006, didn't make it.

Neither did Belgium and defensive midfielder Vincent Kompany, who has been playing impressively in domestic competitions.

Andriy Shevchenko's bid to make it to a second World Cup failed when Ukraine was beaten in the playoffs by Greece, the 2004 European champion. Shevchenko's form has been poor, however, since he left AC Milan in 2006.


The list of absentees also includes Colombia defender Ivan Cordoba. Although he went to the 1998 competition in France, he never got on the field and has played 34 qualifying matches for four World Cups without playing in one tournament.

Long serving Georgia defender Kakha Kaladze has won two Champions League titles with AC Milan but never played at a World Cup.

The absentees also include the African Cup of Nations champions — Egypt.

The Egyptians lost in a World Cup qualifying playoff to Algeria and won't be going to South Africa, even though it beat four of the World Cup qualifiers — Nigeria, Cameroon, Algeria and Ghana — on the way to its seventh continental title.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2022 3:50:11 AM |

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