The World Cup Play-Offs are now underway, with the European section set to kick off on Friday night.

Here, we takes a look at the five top stars who could potentially miss out on football's greatest event in Brazil next summer... 

5. Yaya Toure - Ivory Coast

The Manchester City powerhouse has long been a key component in an Ivory Coast team often tipped to leave an African impression on the world stage but who have so far flattered to deceive.

Toure will be 31 by the start of Brazil 2014, and, with fellow superstar Didier Drogba now 35, Brazil may be the last opportunity for this Ivorian side to realise its potential. There may be one last chance for the current generation, as they take a 3-1 lead to Senegal for the second-leg of their play-off. 

4. Luis Suarez - Uruguay

Arguably the Premier League's finest talent at the moment, Suarez has the potential to take the World Cup by storm on his home continent. Uruguay struggled during qualification, sneaking into fifth place and thus earning a shot at the play-offs.

Barring possibly the greatest shock in international footballing history, Uruguay and Suarez will be at Brazil 2014 as they take a 5-0 lead back to Montevideo for their second-leg tie with Jordan.

3. Franck Ribery - France

A leading contender for this year's Ballon d'Or award, Ribery was an instrumental figure in Jupp Heynckes all-conquering Bayern Munich side. The French find themselves in the play-offs having finished runners up to Spain in qualification.

Having long been described as the jewel in the crown of French football, France will be looking towards Ribery for inspiration in their play-off with Ukraine.

 2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Sweden

A World Cup without Ibrahimovic would be a true shame, but after the Swedes drew Portugal in the play-offs, it remains a possibility. Ibrahimovic has been in the form of his life over the past year, nominated for both the Ballon d'Or and the 2013 Puskas Award.

Recently crowned Swedish Player Of The Year for the seventh time, he will be commemorated with postage stamps featuring his face in his homeland. Sweden will be hoping their talisman can win them a difficult looking tie with some typical Zlatan magic.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo - Portugal

It's sad for every football fan that the World Cup will be missing one of it's true superstars, but the thought of Portugal vs. Sweden and Ronaldo vs. Ibrahimovic is a mouth-watering prospect.

Barring Lionel Messi, Ronaldo remains on a different planet to every other footballer, a player who can do things that no-one else can. An inconsistent Portugal will be looking to their captain for inspiration, whilst the man himself will be focused, knowing that performing at a World Cup will help him cement his ultimate goal.

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