The qualifications for World Cup 2018 have left tears and surprises. Leo Messi and Cristiano had to fight for their countries up to the last game to book their tickets to Russia. Buffon and Italy went to playoffs but still couldn’t make it. Brazil went on to knock Chile out of the competitions. All in all, here are top 5 superstars who won’t show up in Russia next year.
Robben is known for his dribbling skills, speed, crossing ability and his accurate left foot long-range shots from the right wing. Robben’s ability to get to the byline and deliver in accurate crosses instills fear into any defense. Unfortunately, we won’t enjoy his show in the coming world cup. In October, Robben retired from international football after the team’s unsuccessful qualifying campaign.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is speedy, having clocked 30 meters in 3.7 seconds, and he has the capability of playing as a forward or a winger. Aubameyang was the winner of CAF’s African Footballer of the Year award in 2015, becoming the first Gabonese player to win the award. Gabon’s highest goal scorer won’t appear in the World Cup 2018 as Gabon national team failed to qualify.
Sánchez has been a full international for Chile since 2006 and has earned 119 caps, making him the team’s joint most capped player of all-time. He played an instrumental role in allowing Chile to reach the final of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. But the Arsenal superstar lost his way to Russia after Chile lost 3-0 to Brazil in the World Cup qualification last month.
Bale has received plaudits from his peers, describing him as a footballer with tremendous speed. He has great crossing ability, a great left foot, and exceptional physical qualities. Wales went into the final game of Group D knowing that anything but a defeat would have guaranteed them at least a World Cup play-off place. But the Real Madrid superstar seems not to be at his best this year, with endless injuries. Without him, Wales didn’t make.
Buffon is known for his “outstanding shot-stopping” and for being “a vocal organizer of the defense and a key dressing room personality. He is currently the most expensive goalkeeper in history, following his €52 million transfer from Parma to Juventus in 2001. Buffon captained the Italy national team until his retirement in 2017. He retired right after Italy failed to make it to the World Cup 2018.