Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Reason: Country not qualifying 

Ibrahimovic was very instrumental in PSG’s team this season, helping the Parisian outfit to win the French Ligue 1 and to reach the quarterfinals of the Uefa Champions League. Sweden had a good round in the World Cup qualifiers as they finished as the best runner-up in their group to progress to the playoff round, where they met Portugal.

Ibrahimovic’s two goals in the first playoff match against Portugal were not enough compared to Cristiano Ronaldo’s hatrick that guaranteed Portugal a spot in Brazil.

Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey
Reason: Country not qualifying

The Welsh duo has been incredible in their domestic clubs this season at Real Madrid and Arsenal respectively. 

Bale scored the deciding goal in the Copa Del Rey final against Barcelona while Ramsey scored the winner in the FA Cup against Hull City.
Despite Wales boasting a youthful and talented squad, they could not finish at the top of their group to book a ticket to Brazil.

Robert Lewandowski
Reason: Country not qualifying

Lewandowski, known for his sublime strikes, caught the eye of Bayern Munich and will be playing for the Bavarian Giants at the start of the 2014/15 season.

Lewandowski has amassed over 70 goals in his four-year stint at Borussia Dortmund.

Poland could not match England’s performance in their group as England won the group and booked a spot in Brazil.

Petr Cech
Reason: Country not qualifying

Chelsea’s number one goal-keeper Cech had the most clean sheets in the Premier League for the 2013/14 season but his goal-keeping attributes were not enough to put Czech Republic on the plane to Brazil.

Marek Hamsik
Hamsik plays for Italian side Napoli where he has established himself as a formidable force on the midfield, so much so that he was awarded the captain’s armband for Slovakia. Slovakia faced tight competition from Greece and Bosnia-Herzegovina for a place in the World Cup with Bosnia-Herzegovina finishing top of group G.

Franck Ribéry
Reason: Injury

Named the best European footballer in the 2012/13 season, Ribéry will not play for France in the 2014 World Cup as he has been struggling with an injury which he sustained towards the end of the domestic season.

Ribéry was instrumental in France’s progression to the World Cup as they overturned a 3-0 deficit to beat Ukraine 4-3 in the playoffs for a spot in the World Cup.

Radamel Falcao
Reason: Injury

Colombian striker Falcao was subject to numerous offers as the end of the 2012/13 season after an impressive season at Atlético Madrid. He joined French-side AS Monaco for approximately £50m but sustained a knee injury mid-season and has been unable to get back to full form ahead of the World Cup.

Carlos Tevez
Reason: Not selected

Tevez has enjoyed a good season at Juventus, who won their third consecutive Serie A title. Tevez was the top scorer for the Italian giants, but this was not enough to earn a call-up to the Argentine squad whose attacking pack includes the likes of Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero.

Marco Reus
Reason: Injury

Reus has emerged as one of the most creative midfielders in Germany and is a constant figure in the German squad.

He sustained an injury in the 6-1 Germany rout over Armenia in a World Cup friendly. The injury ruled Reus out of the Brazil-bound squad.

Samir Nasri
Reason: Not selected

Nasri has had an impressive season at Manchester City, which has been deemed as his best season at the Etihad Stadium so far. His resilient efforts saw his team win the Barclays Premier League title as well as the Capital One Cup. His impressive style of playing and goals were not enough to convince Didier Deschamps, France’s coach, to call Nasri up to the squad. Nasri’s “bad attitude” has been attributed for his omission from the 23-man World Cup squad.

Theo Walcott
Reason: Injury

England and Arsenal’s fast-paced winger Walcott has been plagued with injuries especially around big tournaments. He missed the 2010 World Cup after he did not make the cut with injuries being the main cause for his poor performance during the selection period.

This year Walcott returned from injury earlier during the season and scored a couple of goals as well as provided assists, but what was deemed as a slight ”knock” during a 2-0 win over London rivals Tottenham, ended up ruling him out for the remainder of the season as well as the World Cup.

Riccardo Montolivo
Reason: Injury

Italy and AC Milan’s Montolivo sustained a broken leg in a 0-0 draw against the Republic of Ireland in a pre-World Cup friendly on 1 June. The reaction to Montolivo’s being ruled out of the World Cup was best portrayed by Italian teammate and Juventus player Claudio Marchisio, who said, “I’m not really about the match because Montolivo’s injury was really bad and we are sharing his pain.” Montolivo, who also captains AC Milan, has amassed over 55 caps for Italy.

 

Image: SkySports.com

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