The 10 biggest stars set to miss the World Cup through injury
With reports that Sadio Mane is set to miss this year’s World Cup through injury, we’re taking a look at 10 other players that will also miss the tournament.
Reports say that Mane will not play in the World Cup after picking up an injury during Bayern Munich’s 6-1 win over Werder Bremen on Tuesday.
The ex-Liverpool star would have been a vital player in the Senegal lineup, as they looked to back up this year’s Africa Cup of Nations success, when they defeated Egypt in the final.
If he does indeed miss the entire tournament, he will be added to a growing list of players that are almost certain to not be playing in Qatar either.
With just 11 days to go until the tournament kicks off, players are facing a race against time to be declared fit in time for the competition proper, and secure a place in their national squads. Others, meanwhile, won’t be in contention at all due to injury.
Let’s take a look at 10 of those players:
Reece James (England)
In what could be a major blow for England, Chelsea star Reece James will not be included in Gareth Southgate’s squad after failing to recover from a knee injury suffered in October.
James has been a key player for the Blues this term, and was seen as a potential starter for England’s first World Cup game against Iran on November 21.
Paul Pogba (France)
Paul Pogba hasn’t played at all for Juventus this season after suffering a knee injury in pre-season, but retained hope that he could return for the World Cup.
However, on November 1, it was announced that the midfielder would not be in Qatar as he continues his recovery from surgery.
Diogo Jota (Portugal)
Whilst an ex-Liverpool star, in Mane, looks set to miss out on Qatar due to injury, a current Reds star will definitely not be competing at the tournament.
Diogo Jota went down in the closing stages of Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Manchester City last month, and will likely be out until 2023.
N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Like Pogba, N’Golo Kante is a key cog in the French midfield. But like his midfield partner, the Chelsea star is out of the World Cup.
He has suffered an injury-hit season, and the decision for him to undergo hamstring surgery in October ruled him out of action for four months, and ended his World Cup hopes.
Philippe Coutinho (Brazil)
Philippe Coutinho’s place in the Brazil squad wasn’t fully secure even before he suffered from injury, with the former Liverpool winger struggling for form at Aston Villa this term.
But the 30-year-old is a consistent performer on the international stage, and has three goals in five appearances to his name this year for Brazil. However, a quadricep injury that could rule him out until next year means he misses out on Qatar.
Georginio Wijnaldum (Netherlands)
Another former Liverpool star, Georginio Wijnaldum, saw his World Cup hopes ended in August when he suffered a broken leg during a Roma training session.
The Dutch midfielder remains focused on his recovery as he looks to make as swift a return as possible for Jose Mourinho’s side.
Jesus Corona (Mexico)
One of Mexico’s biggest names, Jesus Corona has faced a race against time to be fit for the World Cup after fracturing his ankle in August.
The national team coach, ex-Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino, even travelled to Sevilla to assess the player’s fitness. But the 29-year-old has failed to recover in time, leaving Mexico fans devastated.
Miles Robinson (United States)
United States face England in their second group stage game in Qatar on November 25 – but influential centre-back Miles Robinson won’t be there.
The 25-year-old tore his Achilles tendon in May, meaning one of the USA’s important players will not be lining up against England.
Crystal Palace and USA defender, Chris Richards, meanwhile, also won’t be in Qatar due to injury.
Timo Werner (Germany)
Ex-Chelsea forward Timo Werner was ruled out of the World Cup last week due to an ankle injury, with his current club RB Leipzig confirming that he will not line up for Germany in Qatar.
Pedro Neto (Portugal)
Another Premier League star set to miss the World Cup, Wolves winger Pedro Neto required surgery on an ankle injury in early October which confirmed his absence from the 2022 tournament, in another big blow for Portugal’s hopes.