Skilful Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana made his return from injury during Sunday's 4-0 win over Brighton.
Despite taking part in the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016, the 30-year-old former Southampton star failed to make Gareth Southgate's 23-man squad on Wednesday.
Lallana is one of the big-name players to miss out and was placed on the five-man standby list that also includes Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore, James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Fabian Delph were preferred to the Liverpool midfielder who has struggled with injury problems this season.
Lallana made 12 Premier League appearances but only managed one start.
There is a distinct lack of creativity in England's midfield after Southgate decided to overlook Jack Wilshere and Jonjo Shelvey too.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was also omitted from the squad after he suffered a knee ligament injury in the Champions League semi-final victory over Roma.
Lallana's classy Instagram post
He may not have a seat on the plane but Lallana's Liverpool teammates Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold were both included.
Instead of focusing on the heartache of missing out, the talented midfielder - who could yet play his part in the Champions League final - posted a congratulatory message for the players who did make it, and he shared some advice for the 19-year-old Liverpool full-back.
"Congratulations to everyone selected for the England World Cup squad today," wrote Lallana.
"Obviously particularly delighted for Hendo and Trent... two lads who prove that being down to earth off the pitch doesn’t stop you being a star on it. And Trent... take the lead from the skip and tuck that shirt in laa."
Lallana is class on and off the pitch. He'll be 34 at the next World Cup so this was probably his last opportunity.
Southgate had a message of encouragement for the five players on standby.
The England manager said: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues.
“All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this.
"They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.”