Several teams will be vying for glory when the FIFA World Cup 2022 kicks off in Qatar on November 20.
However, the qualifiers proved to be a tough bridge to cross for some renowned big names, who will not be part of the World Cup.
European champion Italy will not play in the 2022 World Cup after being beaten by North Macedonia in its play-off in Palermo. Italy has now failed to qualify for a second consecutive World Cup. Federico Chiesa, Marco Verratti and Giorgio Chiellini will not take the big stage in Qatar.
Sweden lost its play-off final match against Poland, resulting in its failure to make a second successive World Cup appearance after a quarterfinal finish in Russia in 2018. The 40-year-old AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has now likely played his final World Cup finals match.
Scotland lost to Ukraine 1-3 in the UEFA World Cup Qualifying playoffs to get eliminated in the race to Qatar 2022, failing to make it to the tournament since 1998.
Ukraine lost to Wales 0-1 in the final playoff of the World Cup Qualifiers as Wales qualified for the first time in the FIFA World Cup since 1958.
Among the powerhouses in African football, Nigeria suffered a stunning elimination at home at the hands of Ghana. Leicester City trio Kelechi Iheanacho, Wilfred Ndidi and Ademola Lookman, and Napoli’s Victor Osimhen are the big names who will not feature at the World Cup.
The 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) winner Algeria has failed to qualify for a second successive World Cup. Manchester City winger and Algeria captain Riyad Mahrez will be missing in action in Qatar.
It was a double blow for Egypt in the space of two months. After losing the AFCON final to Senegal in a penalty shootout last month, the Pharaohs suffered a similar fate against the same opponent in the third round qualifiers. Mohamed Salah, arguably among the most feared forward in world football at the moment, will not feature on the grandest stage of international football this year.
After a quarterfinal exit and round-of-16 finish in the previous two editions, Colombia has failed to make a third successive World Cup appearance. Luis Diaz, James Rodriguez and Davinson Sanchez are among the star Colombian players to miss out on the World Cup.
It is now the second successive World Cup where Chile has failed to make the cut. Chile’s most-capped player and top-scorer Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal will be among notable absentees. Chile and Peru were hoping to qualify by appealing against the eligibility of Ecuador’s Byron Castillo but the appeals were rejected.
Peru lost to Australia in the penalty shooutout to get eliminated from the race for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
New Zealand (Oceania)
The All Whites, came into the intercontinental playoff with a win over Solomon Islands, but was beat by Costa Rica, thanks to an early goal by Joel Campbell, to crash out of the race for Qatar 2022.