The Big Names Not In Russia


The World Cup has just begun and there’s some great players who got on the plane to Russia, such as Harry Kane (England), Thomas Muller (Germany), Fred (Brazil) and many more, however, there are a number of big name players who didn’t catch a plane to Russia for this year’s World Cup. They might not have gone because their nation didn’t qualify or they just didn’t get picked in the World Cup squad… but here we go…

Gigi Buffon


A World Cup without the legend, Gigi Buffon, is hard to imagine, but its happening as Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup. He was reduced to tears after their defeat to Sweden which meant they wouldn’t qualify for the World Cup and has since retired from international duty.

The 2018 World Cup will be the first World Cup he has missed since the 2002 World Cup.

Virgil van Dijk


The big Liverpool centre back, Virgil van Dijk, enjoyed a fine end of the season, as Liverpool finished runners up of the Champions League. He won’t have the chance of taking the World Cup home, as Holland failed to qualify, after finishing third in the 2014 tournament. Despite finishing second in their group, their poor goal difference meant they didn’t qualify for a play off spot.

Failure to qualify for this tournament means that the Dutch have now not qualified for two consecutive major tournament after failing to qualifying for Euro 2016. Life since van Gaal hasn’t gone too well…

David Alaba


David Alaba is by far Austria’s best player – but sadly he won’t be getting the chance to appear at the World Cup, as they finished fourth in the qualification group, thus not qualifying for the World Cup.

After qualifying for Euro 2016 hopes were high they could qualify for the World Cup, but it wasn’t to be.

Christian Pulisic


Christian Pulisic is a young and rising USA talent and is becoming a star at Borussia Dortmund, but even he couldn’t drag the USMNT to Russia. After winning just three games in the qualification, and two different managers (Jurgen Klinsmann and Bruce Arena). The insistence to use MLS players such as Dax McCarty and Tim Howard who were all past their best and not using young and exciting talents enough cost the USMNT their place in the World Cup.

Not qualifying for the tournament means it is the first World Cup they have missed since 1990.

Alexis Sanchez


Alexis Sanchez is another player who we won’t be seeing in Russia this summer, as Chile shocked everyone by not qualifying.

Alexis scored seven goals for Chile during their qualification campaign, but sadly it wasn’t enough to take them to the World Cup as they finished sixth in their group, therefore not qualifying for Russia.

A real shame because despite his tricky start to his United career, there is no doubt that Alexis is a top class player, but instead, Alexis will be watching from home.

Gareth Bale


Gareth Bale was a huge part of the Dragons success at Euro 2016, as they reached the semi final. Hopes were high that Wales could finally qualify for the World Cup Finals for the first time since 1958. Bale did his best to ensure this by scoring four goals.

Wales were on course to finish second in the group and qualify for the play offs, but due to a final match loss to the Republic of Ireland, they dropped to third, meaning Bale and co didn’t qualify for another World Cup.

Leroy Sane


Sane in action for Germany earlier this year.

Leroy Sane has just finished his best season as a Manchester City player, scoring 10 goals, and 19 assists in the Premier League, winning the Premier League and the EFL Cup. After picking up the PFA Young Player of the Year Award surely he was going to be on the plane to Russia?

He wasn’t, and the news shocked everyone. He had an outstanding season, and is an unreal attacking threat with his natural pace and stamina.

He didn’t make the final 23, and instead will be watching it from home.

Alex Sandro


Alex Sandro is my biggest surprise that he isn’t catching the Brazil plane to Russia. In my opinion, Sandro is the best left back in the world, and should definitely have got a place on the plane.

Sandro can play left back, left wing-back and also left midfield, and is a very versatile player. I understand Brazil have Filipe Luis and Marcelo, and are stacked in this area, but not taking him in the squad is mental.

He scores a goal or two, has pace, and is a great defender, so I really don’t see how he’s not got a place on the plane.

Mauro Icardi


Mauro Icardi scored 29 goals in the Serie A last season but hasn’t been selected in the Argentina World Cup squad, I feel this shows how good the Argentina attack is, that they have left out a player that has scored 29 goals.

That attack has Messi, Aguero, Dybala. The attack won’t be the issue at the World Cup though, it will be if the defence can stop the opposition scoring goals. The attack will do their job, but can the defenders?

David Luiz

After a rock solid 2016/17 season as he won the Premier League title with Chelsea, David Luiz has struggled to get into the team this year, only making 10 Premier League appearances, so this is one big name players left out I can agree with.

We’ve also seen his defensive mishaps before – notably in the 2014 World Cup, where Brazil were demolished 7-1 by Germany, so I think the correct decision has been made to not take Luiz to Russia this summer.

The bigger question is will we see David Luiz at another major tournament? He’s 31 now, and by the time the next World Cup comes around he’ll be 35, and I would have thought younger and better centre backs will be around by then. Therefore, it’s entirely possible that his dreadful performance in the semi final in 2014 could be his final World Cup appearance.

Other players not going to the World Cup include Jack Wilshere, who made his opinion of the decision very clear on his social media. Another player is Anthony Martial who despite a much better season in 17/18 compared to 16/17 didn’t make the French squad. The final other player is Morata, who after a very disappointing debut season at Chelsea, was left out the Spain 23.

Other World Cup related articles you may enjoy:

As always, if you have enjoyed the writing on display and want to stay up to date with us, you can follow us on our social media pages –


One thought on “The Big Names Not In Russia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s