The 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup will kick off in Russia on June 14, 2018. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for footballers, who look forward to represent their national teams at the biggest football fiesta in the world.
However, the casualty list of high-profile players who would miss out in Russia due to injuries are fast growing.
Here are list of 11 players, who would certainly not represent their countries at the mundial this summer.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (England)
The Liverpool and former Arsenal midfielder suffered a knee injury in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals against Roma. The severity of the injury ruled him out of the remainder of the season, as well as the World Cup.
A subsequent statement from the club, made it clear.
“Chamberlain’s season has come to an end,” it said.
Jakob Johansson (Sweden)
The Swedish midfielder, who plays for AEK Athens in Greece, picked up a knee injury in the second leg of the World Cup playoffs against Italy earlier this year. Johansson scored the only of the tie, which ensured that the Azzuris would not go to the World Cup for the first time in 53 years.
Laurent Koscielny (France)
The Arsenal and France defender tore his Achilles tendon in the second leg of the Europa League semi-finals against Atletico Madrid. Antoine Griezmann, who shares a close relationship with his French teammate, showed a major concern for Koscielny during the scene. He has been ruled out for six months.
Foussef Msakni (Tunisia)
The Al Dhail of Qatar midfielder suffered a torn cruciate ligament in his knee in early April. Although he is not a well-known player in Europe, he is the star of the Cartage Eagles of Tunisia. The team will have to fight without his services in Russia.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden)
Zlatan will not feature in the World Cup, after the Swedish Football Association said news of his return to the team were mere rumours.
Many believed his His high-profile move to Los Angeles Galaxy from Manchester United this season would increase his chances of going to Russia. The Swedish FA, however, decided to leave the former Barcelona marksman out of plans for Russia, since he was not part of the team during the qualification.
Mauro Icardi (Argentina)
The Argentina international has more non-footballing reasons why he would not be going to the World Cup.
The Inter Milan striker has scored 27 goals for his club this season, and despite not injured, his goals would not be enough to see him through on the final 24-man list.
Icardi is said to have offended reasoning, after he married Nara Wanda, wife of his former mentor, Maxi Lopez.
His appalling action has reportedly continued to anger Argentina players, including Lionel Messi.
Argentina coach, Jorge Sampaoli, told Icardi he would not be going to the World Cup. He said the player “does not fit into his plans”.
Lars Stindl (Germany)
A ruptured ligament will force the German to miss out on the World Cup, as he will have to undergo surgery.
Despite not being a regular figure in the German attack, the player was invited for friendlies against Spain and Brazil, in which he made impressive impact.
Karim Benzema (France)
After his problems with the French justice system and his clashes with coach Didier Deschamps, it is already clear that the striker will not join his team on their Russia 2018 journey.
Danilo Pereira (Portugal)
Danilo Pereira, a regular starter at Porto, will also miss the World Cup due to an Achilles tendon injury.
Aleksandr Kokorin (Russia)
The Russian will miss the chance to represent his country on home soil at the World Cup. Kokorin suffered an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee during a match against Leipzig.
Zouhair Feddal (Morocco)
Feddal has already undergone surgery after tearing his Achilles tendon during a game against Villarreal.
The Moroccan was interviewed after his injury and the player made it clear he would not be fit in time for the World Cup.