World Cup Superstars
World Cup Superstars, from Haaland to Salah and Pogba, some of the greatest names in football will be missing from this year’s World Cup.
The World Cup Superstars is football’s largest showcase event. The game’s top stars are anticipated to put on their finest performances, helping their teams achieve new heights while also captivating viewers. However, some of the game’s greatest stars will not be present at this year’s tournament, which begins on November 20 in Qatar. Only 32 of the 211 FIFA member states qualified for the World Cup 2022, bringing misery for players such as Erling Haaland, Mohamed Salah, and Gianluigi Donnarumma, as Norway, Egypt, and Italy were among the teams who did not qualify.
Here is a list of five players who will miss the World Cup Superstars because their countries did not qualify. Paul Pogba deserves particular notice since he will miss France’s championship defense in Qatar owing to injury.
Norway’s Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland made his international debut when he was 19 years old and has scored 21 goals in 23 games at the World Cup Superstars. However, Haaland, perhaps the world’s finest young striker at the moment, only managed five goals in the World Cup qualifiers. Norway earned 18 points from their ten qualifying matches, finishing third in the group behind the Netherlands and Turkey.
This season, the Manchester City star has been in fantastic form, becoming the English Premier League’s quickest player (nine games) to score 15 goals. The 22-year-old has time on his side and lots of chances to make up after missing out in 2022.
Mohamed Salah (Egypt)
Egypt’s Mohamed Salah told a television broadcaster in August, “I could be in Qatar for the World Cup.” However, one of the game’s greatest players will not be on the field for the Middle East’s first World Cup since his nation failed to qualify at the World Cup Superstars. Egypt and Salah have lost penalty shootouts against Senegal twice in the last two months.
First, they were defeated in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in February. The World Cup qualifying playoff followed, which ended in a penalty shootout after two legs. Egypt fell 3-1 in penalties as Salah’s penalty attempt soared over the net. Salah’s participation in the 2018 World Cup in Russia was marred by injury, as he did not help his side advance beyond the group stages.
Salah’s ability to compete in another World Cup at the age of 30 remains to be seen.
Austrian David Alaba
David Alaba was named Austrian Sports Personality of the Year for the third time this year, in addition to his eight Austrian Footballer of the Year honors and the quadruple with Real Madrid in the 2021-22 season at the World Cup Superstars. Despite being perhaps Austria’s finest player over the last decade, the former Bayern Munich defender has never participated in a World Cup since his nation has not qualified since 1998.
The 30-year-old, who has previously led Austria, was named to the starting XI for his country’s Nations League playoff match against Wales in March. Austria’s dismal qualifying campaign concluded with a 2-1 defeat in Cardiff, despite five victories from ten games on World Cup Superstars. The Real Madrid defender has appeared in 96 international matches for Austria, scoring 14 goals.
Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez has been regularly one of Africa’s finest players in recent years, winning the CAF African Footballer of the Year award in 2016, the Africa Cup of Nations in 2016, and the Premier League with two separate teams.
The France-born winger was a member of Algeria’s World Cup team in 2014 but had little effect. His squad did not qualify for the 2018 edition at the World Cup Superstars, although they were on the brink of making it to Qatar before a late Cameroon goal knocked them out in extra time of their playoff encounter.
Algeria’s absence in Qatar may put a stop to Mahrez’s dreams of appearing in another World Cup in four years, since he will be 35.
Martin Odegaard (Norway)
Martin Odegaard, a club and national leader at the age of 23, has made a quick transition from youth to professional football at the World Cup Superstars. The Norwegian made his professional league debut at the age of 15 and became the country’s youngest goal-scorer. He was signed by Real Madrid a year later, although he bounced about between Spain and the Netherlands until settling in London with Arsenal.
Odegaard has been recognized as one of the brightest young prospects, and it was no surprise when, at the age of 15, he set the record for the youngest debutant for Norway’s senior team. The midfielder has been complimented for his vision on the ball, accuracy with set pieces, and ability to create space.
His leadership and skill, however, were unable to propel his team to the World Cup. Norway came in third place in their group. It was an unexpected outcome given the brilliance of Odegaard, Haaland, and others.
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