The players missing the 2018 World Cup would make an outrageous eleven

The World Cup qualifying stages have been filled with so many shocks and surprises.

Teams that have been a dominant force in world football have bowed out, meaning we won’t be seeing some familiar faces in Russia next year.

Chile suffered World Cup heartbreak after failing to qualify from the South American qualifying group; with the reigning Copa America winners finishing an extremely disappointing sixth.

In Europe, Holland continued their poor form in recent years by finishing outside of a playoff place, whereas other nations such as Austria and Wales also failed to qualify.

And last night, Italy were unable to overturn a first leg 1-0 deficit against Sweden, meaning they will miss their first World Cup since 1958.


With so many of the world’s leading football nations failing to qualify, a host of world class players will not be playing in next year’s World Cup finals.

BT Sport have compiled a list of those players that won’t play in Russia, and quite frankly, the team is absolutely ridiculous.

GK: Gianluigi Buffon – Italy

The 39-year-old has been one of the world’s best goalkeeper for roughly two decades, but their loss to Sweden was his last in an Italian shirt. 

LB: David Alaba – Austria

Known for his versatility, Alaba plays in a more central role for his country, but he has established himself as one of the best left backs in the world at Bayern.

CB: Giorgio Chiellini – Italy

The 33-year-old is a pivotal figure in defence for both Italy and Juventus. Chiellini also announced his retirement after his country’s loss to Sweden.

CB: Leonardo Bonucci – Italy

Bonucci made his name at Juventus, where he formed a fantastic partnership with Chiellini. Although he has suffered a poor start to life at AC Milan, he remains one of the best defenders in world football.

RB: Antonio Valencia – Ecuador

Once a right winger, the former Wigan man has thrived since being deployed in a more defensive role at Manchester United.

CM: Marco Verratti – Italy

Verratti is not the most imposed central midfielders in world football (he is only 5 foot 5!) – but his tenacity and technical ability have seen him develop into a world class player at PSG.

CM: Arturo Vidal – Chile

Vidal announced his determination to help Chile qualify for the World Cup prior to their crunch match against Brazil, but the Bayern midfielder could not prevent his side from suffering a shock exit.

AM: Alexis Sanchez – Chile

The Chilean carried his side to two consecutive Copa America victories, but the Arsenal forward won’t be in Russia.

RW: Arjen Robben – Holland

The Bayern midfielder is now 33-years-old, but he remains one of the most lethal wingers around. He also retired from international football following his country’s failure to qualify.

LW: Gareth Bale – Wales

The Welshman has only played in 159 out of 248 games for Real Madrid since joining in 2013, but when on the pitch he is still world class. It could be argued his injury woes prevented his country from qualifying.

ST: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Gabon

Despite being one of the best forwards in world football, due to playing for such an obscure nation, it is not surprising that the Dortmund forward will not be at the tournament.

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