QATAR World Cup 2022

Best XI not to qualify for the 2022 World Cup


The 2022 World Cup kicks off in November, with an array of Football’s star names set to feature in Qatar. Players like Kylian Mbappe, Harry Kane, Kevin De Bruyne and Neymar will all strut their stuff on the world stage, while it could be the last dance for legendary duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

However, some big nations failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, including Euro 2020 champions Italy and two-time AFCON winners Ivory Coast. As a result, many top players will not showcase their skills in Qatar.

At BetVictor, we have put together a best 11 featuring players that did not qualify for the 2022 World Cup. We have taken many things into account, including number of caps, honours won and clubs played for. Some huge names make up the team – how far would this XI get in the tournament?

Goalkeeper – Jan Oblak

Country: Slovenia (52 caps)

Team Honours Won: 8

Club: Atlético Madrid

Jan Oblak has firmly established himself as one of the world’s greatest shot-stoppers. He has been a key member of the Atlético Madrid team that has recently won the Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and La Liga. However, the 29-year-old will not be in Qatar after Slovenia finished fourth in their qualifying group.

Right-Back – Zeki Çelik

Country: Turkey (34 caps)

Team Honours Won: 1

Club: Roma

Turkey failed to qualify for a fifth consecutive World Cup, which means Zeki Çelik will not feature in Qatar. The 25-year-old has emerged as one of the top right-backs in Europe. He was a key member of the Lille squad which stunned PSG to win Ligue 1 in 2020/21 and has since moved to Roma.

Centre-Back – Leonardo Bonucci

Country: Italy (118 caps)

Team Honours Won: 19

Club: Juventus

Leonardo Bonucci has been one of the world’s best central defenders for a long time. The 35-year-old has won eight Serie A titles with Juventus and was named in the FIFA FIFPro World11 in 2017 and 2021. He has also won over 100 caps for Italy and played a crucial role in their Euro 2020 victory, scoring in the final. However, Azzurri failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after a shock defeat against North Macedonia.

Centre-Back – David Alaba

Country: Austria (96 caps)

Team Honours Won: 31

Club: Real Madrid

Another high-profile centre-back who will not be at the World Cup is David Alaba. The 30-year-old is a serial winner. He lifted multiple titles with Bayern Munich before helping Real Madrid win La Liga and the Champions League in 2021/22. However, he could not help Austria qualify for Qatar as Wales beat them in the play-offs.

Left-Back – Andy Robertson

Country: Scotland (59 caps)

Team Honours Won: 7

Club: Liverpool

Fans of the Premier League are all too aware of Andy Robertson’s talents. The left-back has become an assist machine for Liverpool – he created 52 goals in his first five seasons for the Reds. He is also captain of his country, but Scotland will not play at the World Cup in Qatar after falling to Ukraine in the play-offs.

Central Midfield – Franck Kessié

Country: Ivory Coast (60 caps)

Team Honours Won: 1

Club: Barcelona

Despite playing for one of Africa’s top nations, Ivory Coast, Franck Kessié will miss out on appearing at the 2022 World Cup. That is because Les Éléphants failed to qualify after finishing behind Cameroon in the second-round group stage. Kessié was a consistent performer for AC Milan in recent years and helped them clinch the Serie A title in 2021/22. He has since earned a move to Spanish giants Barcelona.

Central Midfield – Marco Verratti

Country: Italy (49 caps)

Team Honours Won: 31

Club: Paris Saint Germain

Marco Verratti has been one of Europe’s most impressive central midfielders for a long time. He is a player who oozes class and can be seen pulling the strings for PSG on a weekly basis. Like Bonucci, Verratti was another key cog in the Italian team that won Euro 2020 one year ago. But their failure to qualify for the World Cup means we are robbed of watching this quality playmaker strut his stuff in Qatar.

Attacking Midfield – Martin Ødegaard

Country: Norway (45 caps)

Team Honours Won: 1

Club: Arsenal

Martin Ødegaard has become one of the most consistent performers in the Premier League recently. After joining from Real Madrid in 2021, Arsenal quickly identified him as a key player, so much so that he is already club captain. The 23-year-old is also skipper for Norway, but he will not lead his country in Qatar after the Scandinavians finished third in their qualifying group behind Turkey and the Netherlands.

Right Wing – Mohamed Salah

Country: Egypt (86 caps)

Team Honours Won: 9

Club: Liverpool

Mohamed Salah is arguably the biggest named absence at the 2022 World Cup. The winger has been prolific for Liverpool for many years, netting 20+ goals in each of his five full seasons and helping them win a raft of trophies. However, his Egypt side will not grace the pitches in Qatar after falling to Senegal in a qualifying play-off. In a cruel twist of fate, Salah missed his penalty in the decisive shootout.

Left Wing – Luis Díaz

Country: Colombia (37 caps)

Team Honours Won: 12

Club: Liverpool

Another Liverpool player who will not be in Qatar this winter is Luis Díaz. The winger is a regular for Colombia and impressed for them at the 2021 Copa América, where he won the Golden Boot. However, La Tricolor failed to qualify for the World Cup after finishing sixth in the CONMEBOL qualifying group.

Striker – Erling Haaland

Country: Norway (23 caps)

Team Honours Won: 4

Club: Manchester City

Perhaps the absence that will be felt most at the 2022 World Cup. Erling Haaland is one of the best players on the planet, having made an explosive start to his Manchester City career. The striker hit three hat-tricks in his first eight games for City, with Football Betting markets suggesting he is odds-on to win the Premier League Golden Boot. Haaland is just as prolific for Norway and bagged five goals during qualifying, but it was not enough to secure them a place in Qatar. | +18 | Please Gamble Responsibly

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