The much anticipated FIFA world cup is around the corner. Unarguably the most prestigious tournament in the world, this year’s world cup would be short of some of the greatest players of the game. Some due to injuries; others due to their country’s inability to qualify for the event. Some of the notable players who would be absent include Gareth Bale, Alexis Sanchez, Gianluigi Buffon and a host of others.
Well, lucky for these lots, some of them had been to other world cup events in the past. But did you know that there were some great players in the history of the sport who never participated in the world cup?
Here is a list of 10 famous football stars who never played in a world cup…
Weah’s prolific goal scoring for AC Milan, PSG and Monaco in the 90s wowed Italian and French football crowds. But when it came to the international scene, the Liberian striker was nothing to write home about. Some say the Liberian team at his time was not good enough, others say the King was not good enough to take the national team to the promised land. But in all, George Weah retired without taking part in the world cup
After retiring, Weah got involved in politics in his native Liberia and currently the present president of the country. King weah became a real king afterall…
The Ghanaian great inspired the black stars to Africa cup of nations glory in 1982 but never made it to the World cup as the Black Stars failed to qualify for the competition during his career.
Abedi moved on to become the chairman and coach of Nania FC in his native Accra on retiring from playing football. He is also the father of Ghana Black stars regulars Andre and Jordan Ayew.
3. Ryan Giggs: Ryan Joseph Giggs, OBE is a Welsh football coach and former player. Wales is the current manager of Wales national team and also co owns Salford City FC. He played his entire career for Manchester united.
Giggs is the most decorated player in football history. During his time at united, he won 13 Premier league winner’s medals, 4 FA cup winner’s medals, an International cup winners medal, a UEFA super cup winner’s medal and 9 FA community shield winner’s medals.
Manchester united and Liverpool are the only clubs in English Football history to have won more league championships than giggs.
However, Wales have failed to qualify for the world cup since 1958 and defeat in their last qualifying game against the republic of Ireland will ensure the wait goes on for another 4 years at least.
It’s so sad that despite winning so much titles than many club would dream of, Ryan Giggs retired from football without taking part in the world cup.
4. Alfredo Di Stefano: Alfredo Stefano Di Stefano Laulhe was an Argetinian footballer and coach. He is regarded as one of the best football players of all time, and is best known for his achievements with Real Madrid, where he was instrumental in the club’s domination of the European Championships Cup and La Liga during the 1950s. Along with Francisco Gento and Jose Maria Zarraga, he was one of only 3 players to play a part in all five victories, scoring goals in each of the five finals.
Stefano had a glittering football career devoid of just one thing; An appearance in the World cup.
5. Jari Litmanen: Jari Olavi Litmanen is a finnish former footballer. He was the first choice captain of the finland national team between 1996 and 2008 in an international career that ran from 1989 to 2010.
Jari is certainly Finland’s best player ever. The attacker made his name at Ajax where he picked up numerous domestic winners medals and a UEFA Champions league trophy.
Unfortunately for Litmanen, he was always head and shoulders above the rest of his finnish teammates and even with all his ability, he could not drag the team into a World Cup Final.
6. Valentino Mazzola: Valentino Mazzola was an Italian footballer who played as an attacking mid fielder or forward. Considered one of the great number 10s in the history of football and, according to some , the best Italian footballer of all time.
He could not make it to the world cup as a result of the World War II and his career coincided with the unfortunate event.
Valentino Mazzola was a key member of the great Torino side who was unfortunately killed in the Superga air disaster.
7. Eric Cantona: For some, their country’s inability to qualify for the World cup prevented them from participating in it. For Eric Cantona, his temperament kept him from long spells in the French team and thus reduced his chances of making it to the World cup.
He displayed acts of gross indiscipline in 1989 while playing a friendly game against Torpedo Moscow; he kicked the ball at the crowd, before ripping off and throwing away his shirt just because he was substituted.
His club responded by banning him for a month. Just a few months earlier, he had been banned from international matches for one year after insulting the national coach Henri Michel on TV.
He later missed out of the 1998 world cup due to the prescence of Zinedine Zidane.
Presently, cantona is a french Actor.
8.George Best: George Best played his professional career at Manchester United Football Club; and was also a member of the Northern Ireland National team.
George Best certainly had magic in his feet but he was unable to drag the Northern Ireland team to the world cup at any point in his career.
He played as a winger for a Manchester united team and was a key member of the team. His team mates at United included many other legendary players in the game, but this wasn’t the same with his international teammates.
Best appeared 37 times and scored nine goals for Northern Ireland.
9. Bernd Schuster: Schuster plied his trade in Germany and Spain, winning domestic and european titles. He was a footballer of real quality during his active years.
He won the 1980 European Championships with West Germany; but retired prematurely from international football 4 years later at age of 24 years; as a result of some disagreements with the German FA.
10.Duncan Edwards: The Dudley born midfielder was signed by Manchester United as a teenager in the early 1950s; and was tipped to take England all the way at the World cup during his career.
He made his international debut in 1955 but was one of eight players who died in the Munich air disaster. What a disaster…
The dream of every great footballer is to win the world cup. Well, these guys never had a chance to participate in one, talk more to win it.
The world cup is coming soon, who do you think would win this one?