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Top 10 Big Football Names That Could Miss the 2022 World Cup
- The 2022 edition of the World Cup is set to kick off in mid-November in Qatar, with the latest set of international squads giving a huge hint of players who could play in the tournament
- A number of prominent names could potentially miss the Qatar trip, with some losing their places to younger players
- One such player facing the predicament is Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara, who was dropped from Spain's latest squad for the internationals
- Alcantara is facing stiff competition from young and promising players, including Rodri, Sergio Busquets, Koke, Gavi and Pedri
With just two months left before the 2022 World Cup officially kicks off in Qatar, top football stars are readying themselves to represent their countries in what is arguably the biggest football tournament in the world.
As has been the tradition, the global football showpiece always features some of the world's finest players.
From Cristiano Ronaldo to Lionel Messi, this year's edition of the World Cup will parade a mix of experienced players and promising talent.
Be that as it, several big names could potentially miss the trip to Qatar and be forced to catch the action from the comfort of their living rooms - at least going by the latest squads named for the international break.
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The exclusion of the players from the national teams hardly has anything to do with their current form at the club level.
Sports Brief takes a look at top 10 players who could miss the 2022 World Cup:
10. Mats Hummels
Mats Hummels has been a mainstay figure in the Germany squad.
Now into his 30s, the centre-back has been been in and out of the Germany picture and may face a challenge proving his worth.
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9. Sergio Ramos
A few years ago, it would be hard for any manager to leave out Sergio Ramos from their team.
But with the Real Madrid icon in the twilight years of his career, he faces the prospect of missing the Qatar trip with Spain.
8. Ansu Fati
The youngster's lack of playing time at Barcelona has cost him a place in the Spain national team.
However, Spain head coach Luis Enrique is confident Fati can find his way back into the fold.
7. Gabriel Jesus
Despite his standout performances at the Emirates, Jesus was excluded from Brazil's latest squad named by Tite.
New Man United star Antony and Tottenham's Richarlison were named ahead of him.
6. Jadon Sancho
Sancho has seen his fortunes with the England national team dwindle since his move to Man United.
His exclusion from the squad has everything to do with his difficult start to life at Old Trafford.
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However, he has since found his mojo and could possibly convince Gareth Southgate to pick him.
5. Marcus Rashford
Just like Sancho, Rashford lost his place in the England team after struggling with form and injuries.
4. Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba was integral in France's World Cup triumph in 2018.
However, his latest injury setback could see him miss the trip to Qatar with the defending champions.
3. Joao Moutinho
Moutinho is been a mainstay in the Portugal national team.
But at 36, the Wolves midfielder appears to have lost his place to upcoming youngsters.
2. Thiago Alcantara
Despite being a key player at Liverpool, Alcantara looks set to struggle for a place in the Spain national team.
The midfielder is facing competition from the likes of Rodri, Sergio Busquets, Koke, Gavi and Pedri.
1. Mario Gotze
And finally, on the list is Mario Gotze.
The German star was crucial in his country's World Cup triumph in Brazil.
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However, his lack of fitness could see him fail to make Germany's team for the Qatar edition of the tournament.
Lionel Messi leads star-studded 28-man Argentina squad for pre-World Cup friendlies
Earlier, Sports Brief reported that star forwards Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria were called up by Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni on Thursday for two friendlies later this month as the Copa America holders prepare for the World Cup in Qatar.
Argentina play Honduras in Miami on September 23 and Jamaica in New York four days later.
After that, they will have one more friendly against the United Arab Emirates in Dubai on November 16, just days before the World Cup begins.