World Cup

Players who missed out on qualifying for the World Cup

Jude Summerfield
Haaland won't feature in Qatar
Haaland won't feature in Qatar / Soccrates Images/GettyImages
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Featuring at a World Cup is arguably the pinnacle of any footballer's career.

Having the chance to compete for football's greatest prize is an opportunity many players get, but every now and then a few slip through the cracks.

Below are some high profile players who failed to make the cut for the 2022 edition in Qatar.


1. Edin Dzeko

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Dzeko is Bosnia and Herzegovia's record goalscorer / FRANCK FIFE/GettyImages

Dzeko has been around the block a few times.

Now 35, Dzeko is still banging in goals for Inter in Serie A after an excellent spell with Roma, and has been plundering in the strikes for Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2007.

However, he won't be adding to his one World Cup goal as his national side finished fifth in their qualifying group.

2. Erling Haaland

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Erling's angry because Norway didn't reach the World Cup / HAKON MOSVOLD LARSEN/GettyImages

Norway have something of a golden generation on their hands, but we'll have to wait a few more years to see Haaland banging in the goals on the world stage.

He scored five goals in qualifying but it wasn't enough as Norway finished three points behind runners-up Turkey in their group.

There's plenty of time for the Borussia Dortmund striker, but we won't see him in Qatar.

3. Marek Hamsik

Marek Hamsik
We won't see Hamsik's mohawk in Qatar / Pixsell/MB Media/GettyImages

Similarly to Dzeko, Hamsik has been around for years, making his international bow for Slovakia in 2007.

He played in the 2010 World Cup and also the European Championships of 2016 and 2020, but the mohawked midfielder won't grace our screens in 2022.

Slovakia could only register 14 points from their ten qualifiers, finishing way behind top two Croatia and Russia.

4. Jan Oblak

Jan Oblak
Oblak ships more goals for Slovenia than Atletico Madrid / Jurij Kodrun/GettyImages

One of the best goalkeepers in the world, Oblak represents Slovenia at international level. They don't make too many major tournaments, so it could be a gruelling career with his national side.

Just like Hamsik with Slovakia, Oblak and Slovenia could only muster 14 points, way off the aforementioned duo.

5. Dominik Szoboszlai

Dominik Szoboszlai
Szoboszlai is an exciting talent / Laszlo Szirtesi/GettyImages

Szoboszlai is still fresh to the world scene and has excited viewers with excellent performances for Salzburg and RB Leipzig.

Hungary did reach Euro 2020, but World Cup qualification for 2022 proved a step too far with the likes of Harry Kane and Robert Lewandowski putting Szoboszlai's side to the sword.

6. Martin Odegaard

Martin Odegaard
Great quiff, but not enough for World Cup qualification / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Another of Norway's exciting bunch of fresh talent, Odegaard and Norway just can't take that step to reach a major tournament just yet.

They haven't played at a World Cup since 1998 and won't be present in Qatar, though there's still plenty of time for Odegaard to add to his 37 caps.

7. Nicolas Pepe

International friendly match"Japan v Ivory Coast"
Pepe has had a tough few years / ANP Sport/GettyImages

The Ivory Coast enjoyed an excellent run of World Cup qualification from 2006 to 2014, appearing in three tournaments with the help of some of the country's greatest ever players.

However, with the likes of Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure and Kolo Toure no longer around, their performances at the top level have dropped off.

Nicolas Pepe is struggling at Arsenal and only scored the one goal in World Cup qualification. Serge Aurier is currently Les Elephants' captain, so that probably tells you all you need to know about their plight.

8. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

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Aubameyang probably won't ever play at a World Cup / CARL DE SOUZA/GettyImages

Gabon have never qualified for a World Cup as an individual nation and are hardly major players on the international stage.

That does mean, however, that we'll likely never see Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang get the chance to show off his skills on the world stage, which is sad.

He's the country's record goalscorer with 29 goals so far.


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